Books: Brownstone Relics

THE PEOPLE WITH THE DOGS (345 pp.)—Christina Stead—Little, Brown ($3.75).

Christina Stead is a globe-trotting Australian who has written caustic novels about failures in Sydney, high finance in Europe, black marketeers in Manhattan. The critics have generally praised her books, but the paying public has held back. Her new novel seems likely to get the same sort of reception. A snappish inquiry into the ways of men and dogs, it will appeal to those who take their reading extra-dry, their wit offbeat, their people eccentric.

This time, Novelist Stead's people are the genteel, moderately...

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