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Customer Review

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Affected and slight, 27 Jan. 2013
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
literary.

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.
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