UNMASKED by Louisa May Alcott

UNMASKED

Collected Thrillers
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

 An omnibus volume of 29 tales from the previously published Behind the Mask: The Unknown Thrillers of Louisa May Alcott (1975), Plots and Counterplots: More Unknown Thrillers of Louisa May Alcott (1976), A Double Life: Newly Discovered Thrillers of Louisa May Alcott (1988), Freaks of Genius: Unknown Thrillers of Louisa May Alcott (1991), and From Jo March's Attic: Stories of Intrigue and Suspense (1993). Now that Alcott's ``complete'' unknown works are under one roof (A Modern Mephistopheles, a late novel, is still to come), readers may analyze certain repeated themes, as well as certain traits of characterization, in these stories written anonymously--and for money--between 1863 and 1870. What's clear is that as Alcott (1832-88) grew in skill she steadily created more rounded figures for her sensational tales, figures based on the sexual struggle for power, and often featuring well-observed drug addicts. Also clear from the first paragraph of her earliest story here, ``Pauline's Passion and Punishment,'' is that Alcott had mastered the 19th-century's addiction to rhetoric and could spin a paragraph full of pumped-up passion and fiery-eyed phrases that balance as admirably as the sentence structure in ``The Gettysburg Address'' and will draw even from a grudging reader a smiling suspension of disbelief. Strong-willed femmes fatales, ardent betrayals, and voluminous bloodlettings, largely in foreign backgrounds.

Pub Date: May 31st, 1995
ISBN: 1-55553-225-X
Page count: 780pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1995




MORE BY LOUISA MAY ALCOTT

NonfictionTHE SKETCHES OF LOUISA MAY ALCOTT by Louisa May Alcott
by Louisa May Alcott
FictionA LONG FATAL LOVE CHASE by Louisa May Alcott
by Louisa May Alcott
FictionFROM JO MARCH'S ATTIC by Louisa May Alcott
by Louisa May Alcott