Books: Shortcuts

HEADS by Edward Stewart. 224 pages. Macmillan. $4.95.

Edward Stewart's characters are so folded, spindled and mutilated that the mind's computer tends to reject them as not altogether human. Yet they have a way of engaging the reader with their perverse antics and comic, but horrific, deeds. Stewart's first novel, Orpheus on Top, marked him as a humorist of darkest hue. In this, his second, he has created an "entertainment" worthy of France's Grand Guignol theater.

Centered around graduates of venerable Eli College (Oxford, Mass.), the story concerns people who, when they become head of...

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