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This book contains 40 stories, pulled from the collections May We Borrow Your Husband?, A Sense of Reality, and Twenty-One Stories (formerly Nineteen Stories with three new ones published here). This represents several decades of Greene's work, beginning in 1929 and continuing on "to the eve of the 1970's," although for some reason I'm not sure I understand, they are arranged in reverse chronological order here so that the last story of the book was written in 1929. I quite enjoyed the stories from the May We Borrow Your Husband? collection, which are meant to be "comedies of the sexual life," but I think they are tinged with a bit of tragedy also. For instance, the titular story is about a young married couple who come for their honeymoon at a hotel where a pair of homosexual interior decorators are also staying. These two men view the young man as fresh meat and are hell-bent on seducing him, which isn't all that difficult given that he's clearly realizing now that he is also homosexual. Meanwhile the young wife is completely oblivious to all this going on under her nose. As the narrator points out, it's a farce because of this. He notes that the tragedy would be if she knew what was happening and was stuck in this situation. But the reader can't help but feel bad for this innocent young woman who thinks that she isn't pretty enough for her husband to love and is completely unawares that these wonderful new friends they have met are talking about her behind her back and are intent on destroying her marital happiness even before her honeymoon has ended. There is something tragic in that, n'est-ce pas? Another story, "Mortmain," tells the tale of a newly married man whose ex-girlfriend of 10 years will not stop sending/leaving letters to him, which are the surface seem innocent enough but are designed to drive him mad. This section also contains "Awful When You Think of It," a funny little story about a man "conversing" with a baby on a train, which made me laugh, and "Cheap in August," a wonderful story full of pathos and rich characters, focusing on two vacationers to Jamaica in the quieter end of the tourist season. This part of the book closed with "Two Gentle People," another excellent work, which tells the tale of two people who meet by chance at the park and realize too late the happiness they could have had in marriage if they had met someone else more like-minded rather than the spouses they settled with many years ago. Many of these stories are told in the first person by a narrator who we know little about and is sometimes unnamed even. (There seems to perhaps be a bit of the autobiographical in these stories -- many of the main characters are male writers of a certain age who are divorced and travelling alone. It was interesting to see that literature plays a role in almost every story for the later years of his writing career with the main characters and/or narrators either being writers or meeting writers.) But the other characters are rich and interesting enough, even in these short glimpses we get of them. Overall, these are descriptive and evocative stories. A Sense of Reality had the fewest number of stories, which turned out to be a good thing. I did not care for these stories as much and was a bit disappointed by this section. Despite Greene's claim that "Under the Garden" being one of his best stories,* I struggled to get through this one (I think the longest story in the whole book) with its rather bizarre premise and characters. It tells the story of an older gentleman who returns to his childhood home and recalls a strange dream he had there once as a child, which he begins to confuse with being a real event that happen, despite the impossibility of the happening. It was interesting to note, however, that again we see the obsession with literature - despite not being a man of letters, he feels compelled to write and re-write what he believes happen. "A Visit to Morin," another one that Greene boasted about, held little interest for me. Once again though, we see literature as a theme as...