THE GREAT VICTORIAN COLLECTION by Brian Moore

THE GREAT VICTORIAN COLLECTION

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Anthony Maloney, a nice young man even if tinged with the failure of our age (a teaching post at McGill indifferently pursued, a lapsed marriage) wakes up one morning in the Sea Winds Motel in Carmel having ""envisaged"" The Great Victorian Collection which appears booth by stall in the parking lot outside. Was it teleported from England? Is it a ""secular miracle?"" Perhaps a hoax, or a fake? Tony is only afraid that it will disappear if he so much as looks away or falls asleep. Experts cannot quite agree on the authenticity of those horsehair poufs or brass spittoons or pornographic bibelots; but in time it is accepted and ultimately commercialized as a kind of local Williamsburg/Disneyland attraction. Meantime Tony falls in love, a little, with a young girl who also believes in it and in him before she is whisked away. And little by little, Tony finds that his dream has appropriated him while it destroys him surely and slowly through somnambulistic days and sleepless nights. . . . Brian Moore's curio is so gentle that it, too, could disappear sooner than those much more real books from The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne to Catholics--but then do not dreams, mirages, miracles, best serve to remind us of our mortality?

Pub Date: June 2nd, 1975
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux