September 18, 1978 12:00 PM

by William Peter Blatty

One of Blatty’s early novels was called Twinkle, Twinkle, Killer Kane!, which he says he wrote when he “was young and worked very hastily and from need.” The author of The Exorcist has now produced a second version of the Twinkle book and claims that “it is the best that I can do.” He said it; we didn’t. The setting is a Gothic mansion used as a mental hospital for an astronaut and war heroes gone crazy. Or maybe they are the sane ones—it’s that kind of claptrap. They say such things as “Proud ox, we will teach you the error of false pride.” A final, bloody confrontation with a gang of depraved cyclists is silly. There is puzzling talk about God and good and evil, but the biggest sin would seem to be publishing such poorly written, ill-thought-out nonsense. (Harper & Row, $7.95)

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