Synopses & Reviews
His wasn't a world war. It was one of the smaller wars, but just as deadly as any other. "Wars are like snakes," his first commanding officer said to him. "Some of the little ones
can be even worse than the monsters." --from "Veterans"
Franklin fears his family is in danger from a fellow veteran he saved during the war. A young boy entranced by opera despite being born into the rock-and-roll generation finds himself playing the lead roll in a present-day tragedy. Travel agents happily lost in the paperwork of other people's adventures break away for an impromptu trip without-to their horror-a destination.
Pitch-perfect and unpredictable, these stories cover a wide terrain of voices, plot, and imagery. Rachael Ingalls's richly drawn characters slip from the ordinary into the surreal with an elegance that can only come from a master of the form. Mostly set in the United States, the stories in Times Like These are available for the first time to American readers.
"The eight stories of Ingalls's latest collection feature elaborate plots and surprising, if sometimes inconclusive, resolutions. The highlight is the opener, 'Last Act: the Madhouse,' a delicious take on extravagant operatic tragedy. An opera-loving teenager falls for, and impregnates, a girl of whom his parents don't approve; the parents' sneaky, twisted response to the situation destroys the relationship. Years later, after discovering his parents' treachery, the young man goes mad; his ex-lover's fate is similarly unfortunate. In the sly, comic 'Somewhere Else,' a married couple, both travel agents, look forward to a free trip, only to discover that their journey has no end. 'Veterans' tells how Sherman, a depressed alcoholic Korean War vet, inserts himself, with increasing menace, into the happy family life of the soldier who saved him, while 'No Love Lost' is a dark, creepy tale of the brutalities of life after war. Rich narratives and characters who change over their course make many of the stories feel more like novellas, and Ingalls's command of her varied worlds from bucolic small town to renegade postwar countryside is impressive." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Ingalls is one of the greatest short-story writers we have. She is the real thing."--The Times
"Ingalls combines gothic horror themes with an unadorned style . . . Her vision evokes a world where psychosis and extreme violence stalk the American dream." --Time Out London
About the Author
Rachel Ingalls grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She has lived in London since 1965 and is the author of several novels and short-story collections published in both the United States and United Kingdom.