Robert Coates' first collection of short stories in some years-since The Hour After Westerly-(1957) have had New Yorker appearances and they register fractional, fugitive moments of existence -- in the city (New York) or upstate or occasionally in a suburb. In a bar, one man picks up his past (The Happy Hour) and another woman drowns her present (Listen Paul). Guilty, apprehensive, propitiatory thoughts tour a man's mind during a hospital vigil; another man is The Captive spectator in a hospital special care unit. The title story questions quizzically- who what makes a day or a life go wrong? And probably the strongest in the collection is the haunted Getaway in which a man tries to escape a hit and run infraction on the road... Coates has always written with care and acumen and his stories, in the troubled, rueful, disconcerting moods they catch and contain, are quietly effective.