Books: Mad Maundering

THE DESTINIES OF DARCY DANCER, GENTLEMAN

by J.P. Donleavy

Delacorte; 402 pages; $9.95

His publisher did not really have to print J.P. Donleavy's name on the dust jacket of this novel. Arch alliteration is a trademark established by the author through a steady succession of Saddest Summers, Beastly Beatitudes and Mad Molecule. Fans and detractors can agree on one point: no one but Donleavy could commit such titles.

His seventh novel is familiar in other ways. The setting is Ireland, scene of the author's most exuberant and successful prose. Reginald Darcy Thormond Dancer Kildare is...

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