THE RESTLESS GHOST: Three Stories by Leon Garfield


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Three by Garfield doesn't mean three of a kind, and although readers chilled by ""The Restless Ghost"" (who returns to haunt his imitator) might wish for more of that silky ilk, the other two have their own, quite disparate attractions. ""Vaarlem and Tripp,"" implicitly set in Rembrandt's Holland, portrays a painter undiminished by his ignominious behavior: ""With a few lines--no more--he'd advanced into the enemies' hearts and set up his flag there."" Similarly ironic is the long last, in which ""The Simpleton,"" Nick Kemp, eventually gets the best of the idle ""friends"" who let him be transported for crimes they encouraged and of the Mephistophelean embezzler who would steal his soul and sacrifice his life. Laid in 18th century England and America and especially on the journey between, this can be read also as picaresque adventure in the manner of Tom Jones. Together the three demonstrate a talent for mimesis that is itself almost eerie; if the title story (and the phosphorescent jacket) is the lure, the last, particularly, isn't a let down.

Pub Date: Oct. 13th, 1969
Publisher: Pantheon