Books: Of Good & Evil

SCOTLAND'S BURNING (300 pp.)—Nathaniel Burl—Little, Brown ($3.50).

At least since the days of Percy Bysshe Shelley, the literature of adolescence has been full of sensitive schoolboys hounded by packs of their coarser fellows. Novelists like to even the old scores retroactively by painting the tormentors as unmitigated monsters. In Scotland's Burning, a first novel with autobiographical overtones, Nathaniel Burt offers a refreshingly different version. He writes an indictment without bitterness, a confession with candor. Scotland's Burning is the first-person story of a year in the prep-school life of Anthony Comstock,* 14, told by the hero 25 years later.

Inhibited and shy, Tony has...

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