Exploring the ways a life can be dominated by a need for love and the torments that arise when love is misplaced or denied, these 14 stories include the supernaturally inflected ("A Haunting," "Visions Fugitives"), the Chekhovian bittersweet ("The Woman on the Beach with a Dog"), the PoMo urban spiel ("Beulah Berlin, an A-Z") and the comedy of dogged lechery. The last is represented by "Adult Video," which, structured according to a video-recorder's functions ("Play," "Pause," "Fast-Forward," etc.)l form, records the infidelity of one Edward, a cynical graduate student, and "Fascination," in which the same Edward, married to the girlfriend he cheated on, bungles a brief foray as a freelance journalist by making a pass at a young interviewee. "A Haunting" uses an old horror motif (a man is possessed by the spirit of another man) to illuminate the character of architect Alex Rief. Dispossession animates "The Ghost of a Bird," in which a Doctor Moran observes the brief recovery and sudden death of a young brain-damaged soldier, Gerald Gault. Gault, who published a short story shortly before being injured in 1944, has, in his brief recovery, confused his life with that story.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - RussellBittner - LibraryThing
Sometimes it’s merely the uncanny juxtaposition of two simple words that lets us know we’re reading a great writer. “(V)ast insouciance” — from the short story “The Pigeon” — is such an example ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - jayne_charles - LibraryThing
The short stories in this collection are definitely not the sort you find in Woman's Weekly Fiction Special. They are distinctly literary, suitable for people who like to read, re-read and puzzle over ... Read full review