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Twenty-One Stories by Graham Greene
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Twenty-One Stories (1954)

by Graham Greene

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With so much historical fiction on offer, it has been a pleasure to read some contemporary books too. The quality of the stories in this collection varies, but this has been an enjoyable, if dark, read. ( )
  rory1000 | Sep 2, 2011 |
“Bleak” is the way I’d describe the general tone here. Several stories are told from a child’s point of view: in “The Basement Room,” the boy Philip learns to betray the butler Baines, who’s befriended him, when the unpleasant Mrs. Baines is accidentally killed; in “The End of the Party,” a twin can still sense the fear of his brother after the brother has died of fright; and in “The Destructors,” we’re treated to the mind of an amoral fifteen-year old who destroys, with the help of his gang, a house possibly built by Christopher Wren. There is an element of supernatural horror in “The End of the Party” and in “A Little Place Off the Edgeware Road” reminiscent of M. R. James or H. P. Lovecraft. “The Hint of an Explanation” is Christian apologetics like The End of the Affair or Chesterton. “A Chance for Mr. Lever” has a middle-class character meeting the jungle à la Conrad or Maugham. A few of the stories are grimly funny, as when the children out-con the parents in “When Greek Meets Greek,” or when Mr. Ferraro is diddled out of the 36,892 days of plenary indulgence his secretary Miss Saunders is supposed to be amassing for him. ( )
2 vote michaelm42071 | Sep 4, 2009 |
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Frau Schmidt had reached an age when she had a great yearning to sit
quietly with another woman knitting something or other for her grandchildren
and talking about their latest maladies. You can't do that at ease with a
man continually on the go to a cellar for another litre. There's a man's
atmosphere and a woman's atmosphere, and they don't mix ...
Frau Schmidt took her trouble to Frau Muller who suffered in just the same
manner as herself. Frau Muller was a stronger type of woman and she set out
to build an organisation. She found four
other women starved of female company and female interests, and they
arranged to forgather once a week with their sewing and take their evening
coffee together. They took it in turn to act hostess and make the cakes.
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Please do not combine Twenty-One Stories with the anthology "Collected Short Stories", which combines "Twenty-One" with "May We Borrow Your Husband?" and "A Sense of Reality".
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 014003093X, Paperback)

The stories in this book, all written between 1929 and 1954, all share the themes that feature so strongly in Graham Greene's novels: humour and violence, pity and hatred, betrayal and pursuit. Comic, sad, shocking and tragic, they recount the tales of Mr Maling's loud stomach, destructive gangs of children, indiscretions revealed and secrets uncovered, each one unmistakeably the work of the twentieth century's master storyteller.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:58:57 -0400)

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