A brilliant collection of short stories by the young English author whose novel, The was published last year. A precise and evocative style, a penetrating observation and an intensity of imagination contribute to the moving, poetic power of his work. ""South"" is southern Europe -- Corsica, Italy and the Riviera --the south bringing fantasies, feuds, and ironies to a slow simmering. There is a gaunt - eyed engineer, dedicated to selling the little robins he has killed -- whose lives he had admired, and ended; a drowned Christ who was and yet could not have been, in the god-held waters off Greece; a would-be suicide crumpled alive in the aquarium, identified laconically as specimen ""humain"" by a museum visitor; a swaying snake held at bay by a swaying lady in pajamas playing a saxophone; two feuding old men loving in their hatred; and the most delightful and outrageous dog story we have ever read -- with a sly comment on human beings. Potent writing -- not to be missed. Limited market, however.