COLLECTED STORIES by Alan Sillitoe

COLLECTED STORIES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Collected Stories ($14.00 paperback original; Sept. 23, 1996; 586 pp.; 0-00-649306-8): 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. 23rd, 1996
ISBN: 0-00-649306-8
Page count: 586pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1996




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