33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Collected Stories (Paperback)
This is a truly wonderful book: dozens of short stories of consistently high quality by one of the really great figures in literature. Trevor uses words with great precision and economy to depict a whole world and portray a complex and ambivalent character within paragraphs. His two special tricks are the use of incredibly flat, deadpan prose to tell us about something really horrible or astonishingy bizarre; and the use of incredibly funny, almost surreal dialogue.
The earlier stories are sometimes blackly humorous and macabre. The latter ones have an autumnal and elegaic feel. It is hard to know which type to prefer, or to pick a favourite. A personal top six would be "Memories of Youghal", "An Evening with John Joe Dempsey", "Mrs Silly", "Bodily Secrets", "Two More Gallants" and "Coffee with Oliver". But another half dozen would do just as well. One feels there is a trick, to have produced so much with such excellence. But there is no trick: just constant excellence.