NOBODY'S BUSINESS by Penelope Gilliatt


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A very various collection of short stories and the initial ones, wired to some cold and stainless wonders of technology -- robots, computers and electrocardiographs -- monitor the functional, abrasive qualities of our time. Thus communication(s) is very difficult via ""F.R.A.N.K.,"" a Family Robot Adapted to the Needs of Kinship, although the interaction between a woman and two men plugged into connecting electrocardiographs is much sharper. These are unaccountable and somewhat cryptic and so is the episode of the young man who takes ""untimely"" to ""Staying in Bed"" with his cello while his friend goes to an analyst for him. More of the warmth and triste loneliness of Sunday, Bloody Sunday, the vehicle through which this critic-novelist-scenarist is familiar to the widest number of readers, comes through in her study of non-acceptance, ""Foreigners,"" or in ""As We Have Learnt from Freud, There Are No Jokes."" Here a widow (""Widows slip if they let their hair go. Queen Victoria went downhill"") reclaims something via a Bulgarian boffo comic. Also in the story of Stephen, ""The Last to Go,"" and his disaffection from life and the Labour Party and ""greedy, dozy"" England. The title story is very funny and shows that Miss Gilliatt can be clever and pleasantly indulgent (not so quirky or cerebral) at the same time. In any case her name assures a predisposed audience.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1972
Publisher: Viking