Now available in paperback, the long-awaited first collection of short stories by the author of A Sport and a Pastime.
Mr. Salter offers up the complete and the not so final in this book and they all are enjoyable. Even those that end abruptly like, "Am Strande von Tanger" feels less casually abrupt as the penultimate sentences or perhaps the paragraph brings closure. The remarks that are the final sentence seem less critical. In other stories like, "Dusk", the finality and completeness is almost brutal. The imagery of lost love and a dying bird in a field is poetic as writing and vicious as to the emotion it describes.
If you have read any of this Author's other work you may find bits of characters that you have encountered in the past, or similar locales they have transited. The familiarity real or imagined is welcomed as it brings back other great moments in this man's work. I have read 4 of his novels and this collection of short stories, all are excellent some more so than others. If you were looking for a new Author you would be hard pressed to find higher quality writing than this.
He isn't afraid to say what he wants, and that can be a little shocking sometimes, to our politically-correct selves. Lines like "He was part of that great, unchanging order of those who live by their wages, whose world is unlit and do not realize what is above" may sound pretentious, but it feels like through reading his work, one is gaining access to that state of grace.
I could wax lyrical further -- and compare him to a pair of Rodin hands -- where there is the masterstroke from the distance, and the minutae that complete perfection. TO do so, would waste space. I simply exhort you to read him.
Also try Andre Dubus, if you are a short story person...