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Posted August 8, 2002
PENNED WITH GRACE AND PERCEPTION
One of America's most respected authors, Louis Auchincloss has just given us a gift - his 57th book, Manhattan Monologues. As one expects from this celebrated chronicler of upper-class society, the prose is precise and telling. He reveals rather than explains, writing with grace and perception. This collection of ten stories opens with 'All That May Become A Man,' the chronicle of a son who cannot meet the expectations of his daring father, a former Rough Rider who considered Teddy Roosevelt both 'god and friend.' Agnes Seward is the heroine and narrator of 'The Heiress.' By way of explanation we learn that in her day it was accepted 'that any ambitious and impecunious young man who elected to enter an unremunerative career......would do well to avail himself of a dowry.' She did have a dowry, albeit a modest one compared to her wealthier relatives. Agnes sometimes wondered if it were not possible to be loved for herself alone rather than the financial stability she might bring to a marriage. In 'Collaboration,' a revelation of a couple's differing relationships with the Nazis, our narrator is an only son who finds joy in lonely rambles through the marshland of his family's summer home. It is there that he meets Mr. Slocum, a like-minded gentleman who '...was the first adult who had ever listened to me.' Their friendship will deepen throughout the years. Each story is a mini masterpiece impeccably crafted and imaginatively told.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.