WATCH TIME FLY: Stories by Furman Laura


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Furman's third--and least commanding--volume of fiction continues along the gossamer themes she's worked with before: the trauma of going off to somewhere relatively far away; and the sensations associated with owning and fixing-up property. Again and again here (""Listening to Married Friends,"" ""Buried Treasure,"" ""Real Estate,"" ""Free and Clear""), country houses figure prominently; the narrator/protagonists are droningly similar (young-middle-aged, single, male or female); the brief sketches soon take on a sameness, a pulseless-ness that's not really helped by the self-conscious elements of chic throughout. And only two stories even seem to attempt some forward movement or drama: the title piece, in which a newly separated wife takes revenge on her husband by stealing a watch (it belongs to a relative of the husband's new girlfriend); and ""Arlene,"" which involves a neighbor's suicide. For the most part, however, Furman avoids narrative momentum or anything sharply defined, preferring to produce small variations on one or two basic atmosphere/mood themes--and though readers preoccupied with property restoration may be happy to find a literary soulmate, most others will find this a thin, often-enervating collection.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1983
Publisher: Viking