Books: Sleepwalker of the Spirit

THE HUNGRY GRASS by Richard Power. 288 pages. Dial. $5.95.

Failure is the Irishman's specialty act.

No one else fails with such devastating charm, with such splendid success. Of all the failed Irishmen, none carries down the broken standard of his race more convincingly than the failed Irish priest. Dublin Novelist and Playwright Richard Power has written a funny, rueful little classic about the last days of 63-year-old Father Conroy, whose sudden dying is less a natural act than a winsome acknowledgment of his own obsolescence—and perhaps that of his country as well....

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