DESIRABLE ALIENS by John Bovey

DESIRABLE ALIENS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Bovey is a retired consular official, and so it isn't startling to find him placing his stories at far and various removes (Halifax, Casablanca, The Hague) and most usually within the arc of a philosophical shrug at human fallibility. His most autobiographical-seeming tales, however, have a dry, almost stale quality: war-time brief encounters (""I would not love again in quite the same way as I had loved before""); an American diplomat's wife half-wittingly tempting a Moroccan day laborer; a postwar consul clumsily fielding a bribe from a Dutch couple who want to go to America. On the other hand, when Bovey steps more out of himself, there's at least a flash or two of animation: jealousy in Provence; an earnest young Swedish girl pressured politically to give herself to a black AWOL American soldier (a story with an unfortunate whiff of racism). Overall, the meanderings of Bovey's fiction are rarely hair-pin (drama is sorely lacking), but though unremarkable, these stories are undemanding, genteel, and not unagreeable.

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1980
Publisher: Univ. of Illinois Press