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...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!