Bookends: Oct. 13, 1986

PECKHAM'S MARBLES

by Peter De Vries

Putnam; 253 pages; $17.95

Earl Peckham is the serious author of The Sorry Scheme of Things Entire and The Ghastly Dinner Party, "an unsparing delineation of the worm-eaten psyche of modern man as exemplified in the subcutaneous motivations propelling the social lives of urban people whose surfaces are rotten enough." Sorry Scheme sold three copies. Earl's girlfriend Poppy McCloud writes best-selling romances like Break Slowly, Dawn and commands $2 million advances. What do these vastly different writers have in common, besides a publisher named Dogwinkle? Well, there is sex, which the pun-loving Peter De Vries,...

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