TITLE: FATHERS AND CROWS
AUTHOR: WILLIAM T. VOLLMANN
PUBLISHER: VIKING; 990 PAGES; $30
THE BOTTOM LINE: The second bleak volume in a relentlessly pessimistic novel cycle about the coming of white men to North America.
At the age of 32, novelist William Vollmann displays the exasperating immaturities of a precocious teenager. He is a self-mythologizer who refers to himself with heavy irony as "William the Blind." He is utterly and humorlessly self-absorbed and believes his own sensibility to be unique. He rolls out for display every nut and grain that he has squirreled.
Given this, and a good deal more that...