THE BALLAD OF PECKHAM RYE (160 pp.) Muriel SparkLippincott ($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...