MEN, WOMEN, AND CHILDREN by Alan Sillitoe

MEN, WOMEN, AND CHILDREN

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Men, women and children, all wrapped up in the insurmountable problems of the postwar working class in Nottingham and parties to various betrayals in doomed relationships. Like ""Enoch's Two Letters"" from his parents who coincidentally become fed up with each other and leave town on the same day. The abandoned child never forgives them, at least ""not until he grew up and realized that nothing that anybody did was their fault, since you were always liable to do the same yourself."" Or ""Scenes from the Life of Margaret""--first abandoned by an American GI, then by the husband who fathered her children, and once again by her lover who turns out to be married about the same time she gets pregnant Or the young widow with ""A View"" of the cemetery who nevertheless quickly forgets her newly deceased husband when she meets a man who reminds her of her favorite pop star, whom she'd always loved better in fantasy anyway. Suffering and torment begin and end each of these tales, with no dearer explanation of their mechanism than ""To question why one is alive means that one is only half a person, but to be a whole person is to be half dead."" Sillitoe's Midlands dialect still invests his stories with a certain workaday realism, but the premises are so weak that we're never really disturbed about the fate of any of his sad types in the same sad circumstances.

Pub Date: Sept. 10th, 1974
Publisher: Scribners