IN CAMERA by Robert Westall


and Other Stories
Age Range: 12 & up
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 A part of O. Henry, a dash of Oscar Wilde, and all Westall: five stories that give ample evidence of a lifetime of careful character study and craftsmanship. Though billed as dealing with the uncanny, none of these is overtly occult, horrific, or fantastic, but all stretch the imagination. In the title story, film found in a 50-year-old camera leads to the scene of a supposed half-century-ago crime, only to reveal heartbreak instead. A martinet of a records clerk is asked to register the baby of ``Beelzebub''--but only in the clerk's unsuspectedly ripe imagination. ``Henry Marlborough,'' a beguiling presence from the past, leads an intellectually stifled young woman to independence, even though the romantic figure she imagines is nothing like the real Henry. Through all these tales runs a theme of possibility, of nothing being quite what it seems. The settings are English, as are the social milieu and some of the phrasing, but that shouldn't deter readers who respond to the characters' charm and the expressiveness of the writing. (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-590-45920-1
Page count: 152pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1993


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