Life on Earth
AbeBooks Mitglied seit 1996
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AbeBooks Mitglied seit 1996
Titel: Life on Earth
Verlag: Linden Press/Simon & Schuster, US
Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Dust Jacket Included
Auflage: 1st Edition
Über diesen Titel
A collection of twelve stories explores the themes of family, contemporary life, loss, recovery, and compromised expectations, and includes the O. Henry Prize-winning tale "Perpetual Care"From Publishers Weekly:
Some of the characters and situations of Ballantyne's unforgettable novel Imaginary Crimes turn up again in this collection of 10 stories. The narrator's mother, who died young, and her feckless and neglectful father, who disappeared on a mining trip and whose bones were found five years later, again haunt three of these tales. "Perpetual Care" is a zinger, with unforgettable scenes such as the one in which the narrator dances down the deserted, Muzak-filled halls of a mausoleum-columbarium outside of Reno. This story has the mordant humor characteristic of Ballantyne at her best. But "UntitledInk on Paper," dealing with the same events, is maddeningly opaque. Three narratives set in Miami also involve cemeteries and columbariums. Ballantyne focuses almost exclusively on the fragility of life: on the cruel diminutions of old age and the sudden tragedies that can happen even to those who thought there were plenty of years left. The leitmotif, expressed in "A Letter to John Lennon," is that the best one can do is try to "make it through" a too short and sadly imperfect existence. There is a constant undercurrent of pain, especially in the three vignettes dealing with a middle-aged man in the grip of a profoundly debilitating disease and his wife, the narrator, who in "Letters to the Darkness" mystically shares the cold chills that wrack his body and symbolize his death in life. Perhaps these stories were a catharsis for Ballantyne, but the monomatic, obsessive focus on illness and death diminishes the collection's impact.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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