Synopses & Reviews
"Some of these eleven stories recall the good black-and-white French and Italian films of the 30's, 40's, 50's. (One story is about the making of a film.) A selective accumulation of cinematic detail creates atmosphere, mood, builds tension. Highly original images stay with us: 'He sleeps on
his back and his nose rides the dream world like a keel.' Salter, whose novels Light Years and A Sport and a Pastime are greatly admired by a devoted following for their craftsmanship and subtlety, deals in polished surfaces and dark undercurrents, some darker than we may be looking for. The spirit rises at paragraphs about travelers in Europe that begin: 'They had breakfast together in hotels with the sound of workmen chipping at the stone of the fountain outside,' but two of the travelers, yuppie New York lawyers, callously contribute to the delinquency of an Italian schoolgirl. There is a deep sadness to most of these stories, an emptiness to most of these lives, but the author leaves us less depressed than haunted. The title story is extraordinarily touching. A ghost? story won't let go. A European film actor whose lack of real talent is about to catch up with him inspires memorable prose: 'Tinted posters of him would pull from the sides of buildings.... He would smile across the alleys into the sour darkness.'" Reviewed by Daniel Weiss, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
Table of Contents
Am strande von Tanger -- Twenty minutes -- American express -- Foreign shores -- The cinema -- Lost sons -- Akhnilo -- Dusk -- Via negativa -- The destruction of the Goetheanum -- Dirt.