2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Affected and slight,
This review is from: The Hill Bachelors (Paperback)
If these stories are examples of the kind of work that has brought William Trevor such a high reputation then I must be missing something.
The blurb on my edition quotes a critic as saying: "The genius of William Trevor is that he can entice you into his fictional world in a handful of pages."
I would have thought this was an essential talent for any short story writer.
Trevor obviously is a talented writer but I found most of these stories rather flimsy and usually wondered what the point was.
The Irish ones are generally better than those set in London and France but even then I found the style just too mannered and
Trevor is quite good at setting a melancholy tone, as in "Of the Cloth" in which two Catholic priests visit a Protestant minister whose parish has shrunk as the Protestant Ascendancy has lost its influence in the south.
I seem to recall that he covered this subject somewhere else (as does J. G. Farrell so memorably in his novel "Troubles") but I found his treatment here a bit saccharine.
At least "Against the Odds", about a woman in Northern Ireland who cons lonely middle-aged men into falling for her before robbing them, gives the reader something to chew on.