Thirty-eight stories gathered from Sillitoe's five volumes of short fiction about the English working-class, marred by a...

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Thirty-eight stories gathered from Sillitoe's five volumes of short fiction about the English working-class, marred by a numbing redundancy in themes and settings. His recent novels have not found US publishers, and one sees why: Sillitoe is often heavy-handed and overexplicit (as in the sentimental ""Uncle Ernest""); he can't create believable women characters; and he frequently sketches situations that cry out for more extended development. Nevertheless, both artistry and raw power are displayed in his best pieces: his famous tale of a Borstal prisoner's existential rebellion (""The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner""), examinations of limits imposed on promising spirits by poverty and ignorance (""The Match,"" ""Noah's Ark""), and the presentation of a virtually Dostoyevskian torment in the uncharacteristic (and invigorating) ""Revenge."" Read selectively, this is a worthwhile collection.

Pub Date: Sept. 23, 1996

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 586

Publisher: HarperCollinsWorld

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996