Books: Misanthrope

SCANDAL, OR PRISCILLA'S KINDNESS by A.N. Wilson Viking; 233 pages; $15.95

The world is a wormy place in the seven satiric novels of A.N. Wilson. The deadly sins flourish there, as do those lapses of character and taste that can turn a serious life into a pathetic farce. At 34, this precociously wise and productive British writer has pierced the intimidating exteriors of physicians, clergymen and scholars. Scandal takes on politicians, journalists, prostitutes, thugs, spies, not-so-innocent bystanders and that quaint ideal, the dutiful wife of a public figure.

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