GETTING INTO DEATH: And Other Stories by Thomas M. Disch
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GETTING INTO DEATH: And Other Stories

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Thomas Disch like Ray Bradbury is initially associated with science fiction but is obviously not to be confined to one or two worlds and the title story in which a woman writer of mysteries and gothics is preparing herself for ""the loss of her ultimate cherry"" makes a by no means idle reference to Clara Reeves (his last summer secret success). ""Getting into Death"" is one of several marvelously funny stories as the lady lies in a hospital bed reading a few pages of Proust at a time, talking with several men of the cloth and her ultra-fat daughter, and is altogether taken in by a rabbi's fiction of another woman on her way out. Again Disch is at his comic best in ""Death and the Single Girl""--she dials him to come but then he's looking for life of a sort--""I come, and you go."" The opener is all chic caprice--modern variations of Apollo's loves; nice sentiment abounds in the story of two ducks, one who dies in a culvert of rats, the other who makes her first and last flight; in a brother and sister's search for their parents' grave in a cemetery (""more like a golf course"") where they get lost and loster; and in ""Feathers from the Wings of an Angel."" There's one pure sci-fi; and for a change of mood, the muffled menace of ""Asian Shore"" where a young teacher, turned off by the scabrous exoticism of Turkey, is haunted by the double images--or are they just hallucinatory superimpositions--of a woman and a child seen separately, seen together, seen on transparencies real or . . . ? Oh yes, not all of them work equally well. There's a little too much gamesmanship here and there and occasionally strange words obtrude--two ""sequent hour""s sequent in two successive stories. But what a free-falling talent--full of startling invention, humor, distancing surmise and many, many immediate pleasures.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1975
Publisher: Knopf