Books: Scheherazade's Thousandth

THE HORSE KNOWS THE WAY by John O'Hara. 429 pages. Random House. $5.95.

In the latest of those churlish, wistful prefaces that he has taken to writing, John O'Hara seems to be saying that he is going to quit doing short stories until he is properly thanked for his novels.

This announcement, in which one of the best U.S. authors now active contrives to sound like a ten-year-old refusing to eat his dinner, is followed by a tasteful discussion of John O'Hara's very large income. The effect is that of a wealthy car dealer boasting in the locker room of the second-best country...