FICTION: A Selection of the Year's Best Books

THE BLACK PRINCE by Iris Murdoch. The indiscreet charms of the British bourgeoisie done to a neo-gothic turn.

BURR by Gore Vidal. A clever recreation of the checkered career of that brilliant failure, archplotter and decamped Vice President, Aaron Burr.

FALLING by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer. The blunt but quietly humorous story of a New York girl who lifts herself out of depression by her own pantyhose.

GRAVITY'S RAINBOW by Thomas Pynchon. A brilliantly executed, difficult dervish of a novel, more or less centered on World War II, that includes just...

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