"KING OF THE BADGERS." By Philip Hensher. Faber & Faber. $26.
The first thing you notice about "King of the Badgers," the new novel by British writer Philip Hensher, is how sharp its descriptive detail can be. For example: "He was a man fat in rolls about the middle, the top of his bald head wet and beaded. His gingery-white hair shocked out to either side, weeks away from a respectable haircut."