Books: Three's a Crowd

THE ONION EATERS by J.P. Donleavy. 306 pages. Delacorte. $7.95.

J.P. Donleavy writes sad and lonely books. From The Ginger Man to The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B, his fictional worlds seem to spin through an otherwise lifeless universe. They are closed worlds, their boundaries no more distant than the most prominent erectile tissue. Alone, without context or meaning, the flesh is all.

For some, the flesh is more all than for others. Clayton Claw Cleaver Clementine, the hero of The Onion Eaters, has three testicles. He is descended—so to speak—from a line of similarly...

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