Books: Schlockmeister

KING OF THE CONFESSORS

by Thomas Moving

Simon & Schuster; 365 pages; $16.95

"Success, adulation—notice—are my primary wishes. Can I be serious?"

Well, dear diary, yes and no. The young man pondering his future, one night in 1960, was an assistant curator at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City whose name was Thomas P.F. Moving.

Before he took up a third career interviewing auctioneers, celebrities and mechanical sharks as a "cultural correspondent" for ABC, Hoving had two others:

first as a scholar of medieval art, and second as director of the Met from 1967...