Life is an Operetta and Other Short Stories

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Prometheus Books, 1997 - Fiction - 257 pages
Peter Ustinov was famous for his many talents but it was his skill as a storyteller that stood out above all else. Life is an Operetta is a delightful collection containing nine stunning examples of Ustinov's narrative gift.

The title story illustrates beautifully Ustinov's ability to weave pointed observations into his fiction. "Life is an Operetta" features a young woman, Mitzi, who is obsessed with the stage but poor at choosing lovers, so much so that the one man who can provide her with security and support is the one who is always left behind.

Readers are offered a tour of the old country and an education in European tradition as the locations of the stories range from Australia, through Spain and France, to the Italian railway carriage of "God and the State Railways," while the characters are equally varied in personality and social status. Combining Ustinov's telling wit and deep understanding of human frailty, Life is an Operetta sparkles with keen perception and a storyteller's delight in presenting well-crafted tales. Also included are "The Frontiers of the Sea," "The Swiss Watch," "Dreams of Papua," "The Assassins," "The Gift of a Dog," "The Silken Dagger," and the tale of a man lost in his own homeland, "The Loneliness of Billiwoonga."

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LIFE IS AN OPERETTA: and Other Short Stories

User Review  - Kirkus

From veteran actor, writer, and current UNICEF ambassador-at- large Ustinov (The Old Man and Mr. Smith, 1991, etc.), nine stories suggestive of other days and styles, featuring some rather dated ... Read full review


The Frontiers of the
The Swiss Watch
Dreams of Papua

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About the author (1997)

The late Peter Ustinov traveled the globe as an entertainer and actor and served as ambassador at large for UNICEF. For his work in film and the arts he received two Academy Awards, three Emmys, and one Grammy. He was also a producer, director, and playwright, and the author of Life Is an Operetta and Other Short Stories, Add a Dash of Pity, Quotable Ustinov, and Ustinov Still at Large. He was knighted in 1990.

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