I LOVE YOU! I HATE YOU! DROP DEAD! by Artie Shaw

I LOVE YOU! I HATE YOU! DROP DEAD!

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Mr. Shaw writes what he knows. These are three yarns about three marriages and how they failed. The technique is the same in each. A grouser tells all to an old pal, the easy way! The recall is random. The style is disturbingly colloquial, Variation One -- Grounds For Divorce -- is the story of Buddy and Marjorie as told to Fred. While he was married to Marjorie, Buddy was robbed one night of some money and a watch to which he was attached sentimentally. He made a deal with the thief to buy the watch back. Unable to understand her husband's concept of honor a la Hemingway, Marjorie deceives Buddy and cops the trusting robber. They break up. In Variation Two -- Old Friend -- it's Steve and Betsy as told to Billy. Betsy is half-Jewish, but Steven never knew. Steven's a virulent anti-Semite, but Betsy didn't find out till after they were married. She nevertheless waits several years to tell him. He walks out miffed. Who's worse?...Billy ponders. Sicky Steve? Or cowardly Betsy? The Third Variation is called Whodunit? The worst of the lot, this is the contrived tale of Jim and Ginny as told to Bob. It involves infidelity, extortion, and a possible murder. Ginny, it seems, fell from a great height. The question: did Jim push her?...A perior question, prevails, however. Shouldn't Artie Shaw -- unable to bring to the short story either skilled characterization, facile development, or even a snatch here and there of wisdom -- stick to his reeds?

Publisher: Fleet