PDF Collected Stories
Earlier stuff much better...achieves a marvelous poignancy with things like "Uncle Ernest" and "The Fishing Boat Picture"—and "The Ragman's Daughter."Also great lines like:"It was a night full of star holes after a day of rain, a windy sky stretching into a huge flow over the rising ground of forest fields and Hyson Green....We made a solitary boat in this flood of small houses, packed together like the frozen teeth of sharp black waves...."But then increasingly he begins to get cumbersome and self-conscious and so we get awful things like "Mimic" and hokum like "Second Chance"—total garfunkels.The only stories I liked from the second half were "The Chiker" and "The Sniper"—and "Guzman" was interesting.But we begin to encounter all sorts of sentences like this one:"To question why one is alive means that one is only half a person, but to be a whole person is to be half dead."And:"Silence was freedom now that chaos had turned into order."Also the relentness downbeat Jack London bit began to pall, and seem a bit canned.Although he seems to have a bit more integrity and verity than just some academic Joyce Carol Oates whiner, it's still dull—and not saying much if you're past your teenage angst years.Unfortunately the voice of "Long Distance Runner" devolved into mere Literature.
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