Books: Viennese Valse Macabre

EVERY MAN A MURDERER by Heimito von Doderer. 373 pages. Knopf. $5.95.

A novel by Vienna's Heimito von Doderer is rather like an Eames chair draped with an antimacassar. In their opulent detail, his scenes suggest those leisurely Victorian sagas in which the reader can hardly see the plot for the potted ferns. Beneath the surface clutter, however, a psychological novelist of power and perception is at work.

Though he is Austria's most eminent novelist, Von Doderer did not become widely known in the U.S. until 1961 with The Demons, the half-million-word novel of Austria in the '20s that occupied him off and...

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