A HOLE IN THE LEAD APRON by Jesse Bier
Kirkus Star

A HOLE IN THE LEAD APRON

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

This is a collection of seven short stories four of which are concerned with characters who undergo experiences in such a heightened and extraordinary way that their conditions are most easily translatable in terms of their particular psychosis. In most cases, however, the author endows his characters with depth and elusiveness in story. Migdone, an ordinary fellow returns from the war to take up a life of extreme and contradictory lassitude in Hoboken. He begins to see the shadow of a man in the corner of his eye and his problem so affects his boyhood companion, now a psychiatrist, that he is unable to determine, finally, whether Migdone was neurasthenic or had the premonition of his own death. In Deep Scout, Sgt. Merick goes so far beyond, in his own mind, his scouting mission that for a short while his special precarious existence gives him an immunity from danger. But his fabrication is carried too far and he is killed by his own men. A mechanic in The Bell and the Hand becomes so convinced that the checker in his factory is his personal nemesis that only the checker's death can satisfy him. By contrast with these stories the final and title story seems unfortunately anticlimactic. Separately there is something to recommend in each of these stories. Together, the quality of the competition is the more apparent.

Pub Date: Sept. 23rd, 1964
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace & World