Books: Rags, Bones & Moonlight

THE MAN WHO INVENTED SIN (183 pp.) — Séan O'Faoláin — Devin-Adair ($2.75).

The best of Séan O'Faoláin's stories belong with those of Chekhov. This 48-year-old Irishman, born in Cork, fought in Ireland's Civil War and afterwards, in Midsummer Night Madness, wrote a series of haunting stories about it. They had the hard authenticity of firsthand pictures of war and revolution, with none of the drab, repetitious prose that is now almost a trademark of war novels. His themes were as subtle as Turgenev's, with clear and vivid pictures of action, but the distinction of his work was its fine cadenced prose....

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