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The Hill Bachelors (2000)

by William Trevor

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291567,600 (4.04)45
His first collection since the bestselling After Rain, William Trevor's The Hill Bachelors is a heartbreaking book about men and women and their missed opportunities: four people live in a suburban house, frozen in a conspiracy of silence that prevents love's consummation; a nine-year-old dreams that a part in a movie will heal her fragmented family life; a brother and sister forge a new life amid the chaos of Ireland after the Rebellion; and in the title story, a young man chooses between his longtime love and a life of solitude on the family farm. These beautifully rendered tales reveal Trevor's compassion for the human condition and confirm once again his position as one of the premier writers of the short story.… (more)

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Showing 5 of 5
Not as consistently great as After Rain, but Of the Cloth, A Friend in Trade and the Hill Bachelors stand out for me. Heartbreak, melancholy, pensiveness, and frankness pervade his stories. ( )
  Misprint | Aug 31, 2020 |
I'm not a huge fan of the short story genre, but I really loved most of these. It's my first William Trevor book and I'm tempted to promote him straight to my Favorite Authors list. As is usually the case for me, my appreciation of a book is directly related to how well I can personally connect with the characters in the story. Many of Trevor's characters in this book were older men, living somewhat solitary lives. The story I related to best was one about an old Anglican priest who was the rector of a church in Ireland with a small and dwindling congregation. At the end of this story I just thought: Wow! What talent this author has to be able to bring us into this character's life so deeply and intimately in just a few pages.
I approached each story with a real hunger for more. I wanted to know what made middle-aged men tick. Of course I didn't find *the* answer, but a lot of light was shed on the topic...and many further mysteries were uncovered. ( )
  oldblack | Oct 16, 2009 |
The best book of short stories I have read to date, although it has to be said I have not read very many! I liked some of the stories a lot more than others, but that is probably as it should be. After all, we all like some books more than others, and even in favourite novels there may be some chapters that we do not really see the need for. Trevor has an incredible ability to cram a lot of detail about characters, even their back story, into the confines of the short story form. As a result, these are truly stories in which something actually happens, and not just the sort of poetry written in prose which is often found in collections of this nature.

My favourite stories in this volume were the one about an academic whose obituary is prematurely published, presumably as a result of a student prank, and the one called "The Telephone Game". ( )
1 vote dsc73277 | Oct 13, 2009 |
All melancholy tales, many very touching - worth reading! ( )
  gesullivan | Jun 28, 2008 |
If there is a better short story writer alive, I don't know who it is. William Trevor dissects and illuminates the lives of people with a steady eye and a voice that never falters. In this collection there are those that choose between right and wrong, and then have to live with their decisions. All receive the same unblinking treatment. "Of the Cloth", "The Mourning", "The Virgin's Gift", and "The Hill Bachelors" are my favorites. ( )
  Hagelstein | Mar 9, 2008 |
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On the steps of the Scheles' house, stained glass on either side of the brown front door, Sidney shakes the rain from his plastic mackintosh, taking it off to do so.
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His first collection since the bestselling After Rain, William Trevor's The Hill Bachelors is a heartbreaking book about men and women and their missed opportunities: four people live in a suburban house, frozen in a conspiracy of silence that prevents love's consummation; a nine-year-old dreams that a part in a movie will heal her fragmented family life; a brother and sister forge a new life amid the chaos of Ireland after the Rebellion; and in the title story, a young man chooses between his longtime love and a life of solitude on the family farm. These beautifully rendered tales reveal Trevor's compassion for the human condition and confirm once again his position as one of the premier writers of the short story.

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