MR. DEATH: Four Stories by Anne Moody
Kirkus Star

MR. DEATH: Four Stories

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Anne Moody's four stories of death are so impressively crafted that we wonder who (author? editor? promotion department?) designated them juvenile fiction. True, three of them have child protagonists, but the fourth--about a young woman and her doomed daughter, whom she believes bears the ""mark"" of a contrary cow her mother-in-law (spitefully, she believes) bestowed on her during her pregnancy--uncompromisingly adheres to the limited outlook of Truelove, the mother. And certainly there is nothing withheld or scaled down in the grisly ""Bobo"" wherein a little gift is eaten by her German shepherd, or any nuance overstated in ""All Burnt Up,"" remarkable for its keen, cool view of tangled interracial feelings and poses in the South. (Moody's protagonists, by the way, are black--a fact that is not incidental but is simply natural and unstated.) Of all the shocking endings only the title story's seems at all constructed or artificial, and even that follows with a good show of inevitability the compelling dream sequence that carries us up to that point. You might not agree with John Donovan's introductory assertion that these bone clean Southern gothics are really about love--but, as with Donovan's own Wild in the World(1971), you won't forget them.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1975
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: Harper & Row