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Collected Stories (1969)

by William Trevor

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633226,438 (4.18)23
From his debut collection, The Day We Got Drunk on Cake, published in 1968, to Family Sins (1990), William Trevor has crafted the short story to perfection, giving us brilliant and subtle stories full of the reversals, surprises, and shadowy truths we discover in life itself. To read this volume is not just to encounter an extraordinary literary stylist, but to understand life as surely as though we were looking through the eyes of his protagonists and - deeper still - into their hearts. William Trevor: The Collected Stories includes the tales from his seven previous books, as well as four stories that have never appeared in book form in America. They depict the comforts and frustrations of life in rural Ireland, the complexities of family relationships, and the elusive grace of love. They portray the almost invisible strands that bind people to each other as well as the chains that imprison them in solitary yearning. Startling, funny, compassionate, and profound, William Trevor's stories engage and provoke us as only the best fiction can.… (more)
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Outstanding collection of 85 (!) short stories (one of which, "Matilda's England," is a 59 page novella). A second volume of collected stories was published as "Selected Stories." Trevor is truly a master of the genre. There are very few weak ones in the collection. Personal favorites include Ballroom of Romance, Penthouse Apartment, Matilda's England, Last Wishes, Raising of Elvira Tremlett, Being Stolen From, Property of Colette Nervi, Smoke Trees of San Pietro, A Trinity. ( )
  Lasitajs | Sep 7, 2017 |
I took several years to read this collection, and not simply because it’s 1261 pages long and comprised of eighty-four stories. Mainly because each story is so very, very good that I wanted to savor each one. I’d read a story, then set the book aside for a while. I might finish ten books (including some of Trevor’s others) before I came back to it. So it took a while and was worth every minute.

William Trevor is a master at making the ordinary compelling. He writes of the deep emotions that belong to us all. He writes about tragedy; in love, war, family life, life in general. Mourning, betrayal, cruelty are all represented. And of course love. Thwarted love, doomed love, betrayed love, impossible love.

Trevor writes about it all, with subtlety and a deep inventiveness that makes each story unique and absorbing. Always the characters are what matter. The stories take place in England, Ireland, Italy, but the real action is with the characters.

It’s a genuine marvel to have written this many outstanding stories, and Trevor is still working and creating more stories and novels, which is good for all of us. ( )
  Hagelstein | Dec 29, 2013 |
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From his debut collection, The Day We Got Drunk on Cake, published in 1968, to Family Sins (1990), William Trevor has crafted the short story to perfection, giving us brilliant and subtle stories full of the reversals, surprises, and shadowy truths we discover in life itself. To read this volume is not just to encounter an extraordinary literary stylist, but to understand life as surely as though we were looking through the eyes of his protagonists and - deeper still - into their hearts. William Trevor: The Collected Stories includes the tales from his seven previous books, as well as four stories that have never appeared in book form in America. They depict the comforts and frustrations of life in rural Ireland, the complexities of family relationships, and the elusive grace of love. They portray the almost invisible strands that bind people to each other as well as the chains that imprison them in solitary yearning. Startling, funny, compassionate, and profound, William Trevor's stories engage and provoke us as only the best fiction can.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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