Books: Capital Offense

A DOG'S HEAD (149 pp.) Jean Dutourd—Simon & Schuster ($3).

When Madame Du Chaillu gave birth to a son with a puppy dog's head, she was understandably distressed. "What will people say?" she cried.

Except for his spaniel's head with its "long, flapping ears [and] wide, gaping jaws," little Edmond was a normal child. In moments of optimism, his father, M. Du Chaillu, saw no reason why Edmond should not take up law, for instance. But even as a youngster, Edmond developed some disturbing manners—such as fetching the daily paper between his teeth. He had, it seemed, "the soul of a man,"...

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