A PETRAKIS READER by Harry Mark Petrakis


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Twenty-seven previously collected stories and one new tale from the author of Pericles on 31st Street--and they just about fully tile Petrakis' style and outlook. They're mostly about Greek-Americans and small twists of happenstance. ""'You know, it's strange,' he said. 'Strange that we've met. Do you know what I mean? It's almost like fate. . . .'"" Life is occasionally slapstick--a luncheonette owner buys a lot of turkeys that have died a natural death and then hopes his customers live--and often fiercely prideful. Lovers have names like Daphne and Apollo, Samson and Delilah. It's the sort of stuff that, for lack of a surer terra, is usually marked ""heartwarming."" Two stories, however--""The Prison"" and ""The Judgment"" (the new one)--are flinty and blue-cold: social realism about nobodies who live with expectations unannexed by hope--and they sing. Everything else hums, pleasantly conducted right along by Petrakis' brief introductory commentaries.

Pub Date: April 21st, 1978
Publisher: Doubleday