A FAIRY TALE OF NEW YORK
by J.P. DONLEAVY
341 pages. Delacorte. $7.95.
From The Ginger Man on, J.P. Donleavy's novels have been simultaneously cruel, sentimental, repetitive and sporadically funny. Donleavy heroes are ridiculous figures who wallow in self-pity behind their mannered fronts and anesthetize deep personal hurts with sex and alcohol. Like Cornelius Treacle Christian, the errant knight in tweed armor of A Fairy Tale of New York, Donleavy's people move around a lot"Moving all the time," says Christian, "hoping for a master stroke of solace somewhere."
Treacle Christian (the name alone too obviously signals Donleavy's intent) is a penniless, Bronx-born expatriate...