THE SOUTHERN REPORTER And Other Stories by John William Corrinston


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Corrington (The Bombardier, The Actes and Monumentes) is on sure ground in quiet, judicial short fiction; but when he writes a story with action, he handles it like a pocket raincoat: he folds everything in so tightly--incident, character, rhetoric, violence, memory--that the story itself emerges pretty badly wrinkled. In ""Nothing Succeeds,"" an old New Orlenas lawyer goes to California to find an heir to a pepper-sauce fortune--who turns out to have become a physician and a physicist and a musician and a prophet and a Mansonite terrorist. In ""The Great Pumpkin,"" a retired couple's peaceful Halloween night becomes a terror-rama, with revenge the high point (as it is in ""The Southern Reporter""). And though these long, bloody-climax stories effectively display Corrington's lawyerly familiarity with modern random violence, they lack credibility--especially since they're narrated in an inappropriate, highly stentorian style. Only in ""A Day In Thy Court""--about a dying lawyer fishing alone for bass in northeastern Louisiana--does this rich style seem at home. A much less successful collection than The Acres and Monuments, then--which showed Corrington at his best: stately with summation and undisturbed by extremity.

Pub Date: June 7th, 1981
Publisher: Louisiana State Univ. Press