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Posted November 4, 2010
A fine and thoughtful read
In The Butterfly Collector Fred McGavran writes about the moral and spiritual world of educated, prosperous people who are uneasy strangers in their own lives. They see the sordidly prosaic details of daily life which mustn't be noticed and think the blunt retorts which mustn't be said. Memory in these stories is relentless moral vision. It returns not just to haunt the mind but physically to stalk the world in search of justice. McGavran writes of his characters - but not of their world - sympathetically, even tenderly. The keynote of the collection is struck by the protagonist of the lead story, who focuses what is left of his Alzheimer's-ravaged mind on a beautiful, delicate, fragile butterfly fluttering through the crass and shallow world of his caregivers. Throughout these stories the protagonists find hope, or at least a morally saving awareness, in the face of oppressive banality and venality. A fine and thoughtful read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 24, 2010
The Butterfly Collector
Fred McGavran can write. These are elegant short stories, featuring lawyers, clients, doctors, and patients. McGavran has a spare, clean, writing style, dark but compassionate, as in "Two Cures for a Phantom Limb." He can be lyrical, as in the lovely title story, or ironical, as in "Embracing the Inner Child," or surreal as in "The Deer," and "Memories of a Family Vacation," or deeply touching, as in "The Forgiveness of Edwin Watkins." McGavran is given to surprise endings, reminiscent of O. Henry. A superb collection.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 20, 2010
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