Books: Something About the Irish

THE EDGE OF SADNESS (460 pp.)—Edwin O'Connor—Atlantic-Little. Brown ($5).

"Hail, hail, the gang's all here! Here's the last of the party, just arrived! And d'ye see who it is? Father Hugh Kennedy himself, come back to us just to say hooray to an old man on his birthday! Ain't that lovely? Ain't that grand? Come in, come in, Father Hugh! Come in here and say a grand hello to all the old friends! Look at them: they're leapin' around like salmon at the sight of you!"

The only one leaping is the speaker, Charlie Carmody, playing host at what he perversely insists...

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