Books: A Devil Called Douglas

THE BALLAD OF PECKHAM RYE (160 pp.) —Muriel Spark—Lippincott ($3.75).

"Wilt thou have this woman to thy wedded wife?" the vicar asks Humphrey.

"No," Humphrey replies, "to be quite frank, I won't."

It is really the Devil who is speaking so caddishly through Humphrey. The Devil in this incarnation is known as Dougal Douglas, or occasionally as Douglas Dougal, and he comes equipped with a crooked right shoulder, a clawlike right hand, and two small bumps on his head where a plastic surgeon has removed the horns. When he looks at people, he is "like...

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