Books: The Cad's Cad

MEMOIRS OF A PUBLIC BABY (232 pp.)—Philip O'Connor—British Book Centre ($4).

Greeted in Britain by the brassiest of literary fanfares, this volume by a minor English poet performs the complicated parlor trick of 1) confessing to a slew of sleazy sins, 2) confessing to be confessing "to worm my way into the graces ... of society," 3) confessing that all the confessing is too mixed up with the drama of "self-presentation" to be deemed "true" confession. The book is an account of how Author O'Connor developed out of precocious childhood into a state of...