A Bit on the Side: Stories

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Overview

William Trevor is truly a Chekhov for our age, and a new collection of stories from him is always a cause for celebration. These twelve stories include:

The waiter who divulges his shocking life of crime to his ex-wife.
A woman repeats the story of her parents' unstable marriage after a horrible tragedy.
...

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A Bit on the Side

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Overview

William Trevor is truly a Chekhov for our age, and a new collection of stories from him is always a cause for celebration. These twelve stories include:

The waiter who divulges his shocking life of crime to his ex-wife.
A woman repeats the story of her parents' unstable marriage after a horrible tragedy.
The schoolgirl who regrets gossiping about the cuckolded man who tutors her.
A middle-aged couple meet in a theatre bar for a squalid blind date.
The disappointed priest who fears an innocent young girl may run away from home.
Two self-certain sisters visit a newly widowed local woman.
And, in the volume's title story, a middle-age accountant offers his reasons for ending a love affair.

From these slender moments Trevor creates whole lives, conjuring up characters marked by bitterness and loss. William Trevor's graceful prose is a wonder in itself, and as convincing when inhabiting the mind of a school lunchmaid, an adulterous Irish country librarian or a murderer on the London streets. And as is always the case with William Trevor, venom and tragedy are never far from the still surface of the stories.

At the heart of this stunning collection is Trevor's characteristic tenderness and unflinching eye for both the humanizing and dehumanizing aspects of modern urban and rural life.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Matching [the] superb writing is the narration by Simon Vance and Josephine Bailey. Both tread delicately through the minefield of emotions just under the surface in each story. The result is bittersweet and tender." —-Audiobookcafe.com
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400151431
  • Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/28/2004
  • Format: MP3 on CD
  • Edition description: MP3 - Unabridged CD
  • Product dimensions: 5.32 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

William Trevor

British actress and narrator Josephine Bailey has won ten AudioFile Earphones Awards and a prestigious Audie Award, and Publishers Weekly named her Best Female Narrator in 2002.

Simon Vance has recorded over four hundred audiobooks and has earned over twenty AudioFile Earphones Awards, including for his narration of Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini. He is also the recipient of five coveted Audie Awards, including one for The King's Speech by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi, and he was named an AudioFile Best Voice of 2009.

Biography

"William Trevor is an extraordinarily mellifluous writer, seemingly incapable of composing an ungraceful sentence," Brooke Adams once wrote in the New York Times Book Review. Hailed by the New Yorker as "probably the greatest living writer of short stories in the English language," Trevor has also written over a dozen acclaimed novels as well as several plays. His characters are often people whose desires have been unfulfilled, and who come to rely on various forms of self-deception and fantasy to make their lives bearable.

Trevor was born in 1928 to a middle-class, Protestant family in Ireland. After graduating from Trinity College with a degree in history, he attempted to carve out a career as a sculptor. He moved to England in 1954 and exhibited his sculptures there; he also wrote his first novel, A Standard of Behavior, which was published in 1958 but met with little critical success. His second novel, The Old Boys, won the 1964 Hawthornden Prize for Literature and marked the beginning of a long and prolific career as a novelist, short-story writer and playwright.

Three of Trevor's novels have won the prestigious Whitbread Novel of the Year Award: The Children of Dynmouth, Fools of Fortune and Felicia's Journey. Felicia's Journey, about a pregnant Irish girl who goes to England to find the lover who abandoned her, was adapted for the screen in 1999 by director Atom Egoyan. Trevor, who has described himself as a short-story writer who enjoys writing novels, has also written such celebrated short stories as "Three People," in which a woman who murdered her disabled sister harbors an unspoken longing for the man who provided her with an alibi, and "The Mourning," about a young man who is pressed by political activists into planting a bomb (both from The Hill Bachelors).

Some critics have noted a change in Trevor's work over the years: his early stories tend to contain comic sketches of England, while his later ones describe Ireland with the elegiac tone of an expatriate. Trevor, who now lives in Devon, England, has suggested that he has something of an outsider's view of both countries. "I feel a sense of freshness when I come back [to Ireland]," he said in a 2000 Irish radio interview. "If I lived in, say, Dungarvan or Skibbereen, I think I wouldn't notice things."

As it stands, Trevor is clearly a writer who notices things, just as one of his characters notices "the glen and the woods and the seashore, the flat rocks where the shrimp pools were, the room she woke up in, the chatter of the hens in the yard, the gobbling of the turkeys, her footsteps the first marks on the sand when she walked to Kilauran to school" (The Story of Lucy Gault). Yet as Trevor told an interviewer for The Irish Times, "You mustn't write about what you know. You must use your imagination. Fiction is an act of the imagination." Trevor's fertile imagination captures, as Alice McDermott wrote in The Atlantic, "the terrible beauty of Ireland's fate, and the fate of us all -- at the mercy of history, circumstance, and the vicissitudes of time."

Good To Know

When Trevor was growing up, he wanted to be a clerk in the Bank of Ireland -- following in the footsteps of his father, James William Cox. Cox's career as a bank manager took the family all over Ireland, and Trevor attended over a dozen different schools before entering Trinity College in Dublin.

Trevor married his college sweetheart, Jane Ryan, in 1952. After the birth of their first son, Trevor worked for a time as an advertising copywriter in London. He also sculpted and worked as an art teacher, but gave up his sculpting after it became "too abstract."

In addition to the 1999 film Felicia's Journey, two other movies have been based on Trevor's works: Fools of Fortune (1990), directed by Pat O'Connor, and Attracta (1983), directed by Kieran Hickey. According to Trevor's agent, the plays Reading Turgenev and My House in Umbria are also being adapted for the screen.

Trevor is also the author of several plays, most of which are not in print in the U.S. Works include Scenes from an Album, Marriages, and Autumn Sunshine.

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    1. Also Known As:
      William Trevor Cox (birth name)
    2. Hometown:
      Devon, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 24, 1928
    2. Place of Birth:
      Mitchelstown, County Cork, Ireland
    1. Education:
      Trinity College, Dublin, 1950

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 25, 2011

    Love trevor

    Rose Wept is just wonderful. Nice collection overall. I like his stories better than his novels.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2007

    A reviewer

    I bought this book after reading a tempting review. It was a wonderful book. After reading the stories weeks ago, I still think about his stories. Absolutely wonderful book. What a joy to read. Trevor is so subtle and brilliant -- you will love this collection.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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