Books: Algonquin Legend

MF by Anthony Burgess. 242 pages. Knopf. $5.95.

The epigraph for John Anthony Burgess Wilson's new novel is taken from a stage direction in Much Ado About Nothing: "Enter Prince, Leonato, Claudio and Jacke Wilson." It is appropriate because there is nothing in the field of fiction this Jack Wilson does not do. His prodigious career has already accounted for 15 novels, five books of criticism, hundreds of reviews and essays, all published since 1956, when Burgess was 39.

Though he is one of the nimblest critics alive, it is the novels that really...

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