THE DEATH OF DICKIE DRAPER: And Ten Other Stories by Jerome Weidman


Email this review


There are no surprises in these ten short stories by Jerome Weidman. His writing is always deft, his characters are invariably of some interest, and his truths, though small and sometimes not worth the trouble, are nonetheless valid. In an attempt to avoid the obfuscation he deplores in modern writing, he too often overstates simplistically. He has an annoying habit throughout of confusing objectivity with irony, small details with significant mundanity. Two of the stories in the collection which seem to come off most successfully are A Sense of Echelon and Wait For Me. The former concerns a wartime affair between a middle-aged merchant, whose family is being held in a detention camp for the duration, and a fresh English country girl in the armed forces. Related dispassionately by an old fool, remembered with guilt by a successful architect, it depicts with poignancy the isolated morality of critical times. In Wait For Me, an unattractive woman holds on tenaciously to her only reason for living, a fiction she simulates and ruthlessly sustains. This is by far Weidman's best characterization. The title story is one of the least successful ventures. It is based on the facts of the Leopold-Loeb case and concerns the impossibility of absolution...Jerome Weidman is a pro with no pretensions who writes readably.

Publisher: Random House