The unlikely heroes of these fifteen beguiling stories resort to desperate, often damaging, measures to redeem their unsatisfying lives. In the title story, an arrogant and sadistic American pilot stationed in Vietnam underestimates the power of revenge when he relentlessly persecutes one of his maintenance crew. In "Hardly Ever," a Scottish boy impresses his schoolmates by recounting with prurient elaboration his chaste and awkward courtship of a local girl. An epileptic recently recovered from brain surgery tries to solve the murder of his best friend's wife in "Bizarre Situations," but never suspects that he might seem the most likely culprit. Stranded in an African hotel during a coup, an oafish Englishman captivates a young stewardess with stories of an enchanted life completely at odds with his sordid existence in "The Coup." From the pool-sides of the American West to the battlegrounds of Vietnam, we are shown a world populated by weary souls who turn to fantasy as their sole escape from life's inequities.
Expertly crafted and endowed with mordant humor and rare compassion, William Boyd's first collection of stories reminds us of his stature as one of contemporary fiction's finest storytellers.
|Edition description:||1st U.S. ed|
About the Author
Table of Contents
|Next Boat from Douala||9|
|Not Yet, Jayette||18|
|The Care and Attention of Swimming Pools||51|
|On the Yankee Station||104|
|My Girl in Skintight Jeans||144|
|Extracts from the Journal of Flying Officer J||152|
|Long Story Short||209|