Books: Murderer's Musings

OURSELVES TO KNOW (408 pp.)—John O'Hara—Random House ($4.95).

Perhaps irked by critics who have patronized him for his ability to write flawless (and endless) dialogue, John O'Hara has lately turned to a more inward sort of conversation—the colloquy a lonely man carries on with himself. The protagonist of his new novel is a rich and solitary Pennsylvania landowner who, past 50, marries an 18-year-old girl and eventually murders her. Why did he do it? For a long time, the reader is not told, while the narrator sifts the aging murderer's memories for the quirks...

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