THREE by William Sansom


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This is the second volume of Sansom's long short stories (the first was published in 1945 by Vanguard). Once again there's inevitable comparison with writing in the Kafka school, though Sansom seems, in this volume, to have emerged with a sharper, almost Shavian identity. The best of the three stories is The Invited though it is occasionally clogged with class consciousness as Pierrot, from the 'flats' and Doreen from the 'yards' argue cut their relative positions in philosophical terms. The Cleaner's Story is quiet, original, suggesting trick photography, as the charwoman, her horizon bounded by furniture legs, and the boots of the customers, hears conversation going on above her, the gossip of a provincial town, and contributes her own folksy philosophy. Cat up a Tree is a slight and relatively unimportant story of a young fireman, called out only to discover not a fire, but a cat up a tree.... Exceptional creation of atmosphere--a finished style, subtle observation, sensitive feel for words. Obscure and esoteric for the general reading public.

Pub Date: April 14th, 1947
Publisher: Reynal & Hitchcock