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VERY OLD BONES

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VERY OLD BONES William Kennedy (Penguin, $10, 1992) Literary success came late to William Kennedy. Published only after his former teacher Saul Bellow intervened with Viking, Kennedy’s Ironweed became a literary sensation, earning him comparisons with Faulkner and Joyce. Very Old Bones follows the fortunes of the Phelan family-and though the book has its moments, it doesn’t live up to Ironweed’s promise. C+

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