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A Bit on the Side by William Trevor
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A Bit on the Side

by William Trevor

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Excerpts from my original GR review (Jun 2009):
- This was my first sampling of Trevor. These stories are mainly contemporary, set in Ireland or Britain, and traditional in form. He tells his tales in spare, but descriptive language. All the stories I enjoyed to a point, though for me three stood out. One was "An Evening Out", told from the alternating perspective of a pair on a blind date, disappointments and all. Another was "Big Bucks",...in which a young Irish couple's love is muted by his long foray into a limitless America in search of fortune. The third was "Solitude", about the permanently changed lives emitting from a salacious affair.
- There is no fantasy, high crime or shockers here, just good solid writing. Trevor has published to date more than a dozen short story collections, so I'd say he's worth a return engagement. [Since this review, I read and enjoyed "The Story of Lucy Gault". William Trevor died 2016] ( )
  ThoughtPolice | Aug 2, 2018 |
Not being a fan of short stories, my opinion may not do this book any justice. The stories are deceptively mild, understated, yet providing insight into the human psyche even while it might appear that nothing much happens. Nevertheless, whether the subject is pleasant or repellant Trevor writes beautifully, eloquently capturing moments in time. ( )
1 vote VivienneR | Sep 11, 2015 |
This small collection of short stories was a bit of a disappointment. I have enjoyed several of Trevor's novels and story collections, but this one just didn't move me like other of his works. For the most part, the stories are about ordinary, mousey, even dull people living ordinary, dull lives. While this is true of other Trevor stories, his use of language has always been powerful, making me interested in and empathetic with the most ordinary of characters. That didn't happen for me in A Bit on the Side; for me, Trevor's usual poignancy was missing here. ( )
1 vote Cariola | Apr 13, 2015 |
I mean, Trevor is a great writer, but these stories seemed so FAMILIAR. Maybe the Irish village thing is played out. ( )
  Ibreak4books | May 25, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0143035916, Paperback)

William Trevor is truly a Chekhov for our age, and a new collection of stories from him is always a cause for celebration. In these twelve stories, a waiter divulges a shocking life of crime to his ex-wife; a woman repeats the story of her parents’ unstable marriage after a horrible tragedy; a schoolgirl regrets gossiping about the cuckolded man who tutors her; and, in the volume’s title story, a middle-aged accountant offers his reasons for ending a love affair. At the heart of this stunning collection is Trevor’s characteristic tenderness and unflinching eye for both the humanizing and dehumanizing aspects of modern urban and rural life.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:54 -0400)

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"In these twelve stories, a waiter divulges a shocking life of crime to his ex-wife; a woman repeats the story of her parents' unstable marriage after a horrible tragedy; a schoolgirl regrets gossiping about the cuckolded man who tutors her; and, in the volume's title story, a middle-aged accountant offers his reasons for ending a love affair. At the heart of this collection is Trevor's characteristic tenderness and unflinching eye for both the humanizing and dehumanizing aspects of modern urban and rural life."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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