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Gathering 48 stories originally appearing in four volumes, this follow-up collection to 1992's Collected Stories, Vol. 1 offers readers the luxury of immersing themselves in Trevor's unparalleled mastery of short fiction. Trevor's authorial humility and care for his characters and their lives is evident in each selection. Grand themes such as religious sensibility or grief from loss, to which Trevor returns again and again, reveal startling nuances and even more beautifully intricate textures when explored in the larger context of a collection. Verdict If Vermeer wrote short stories, perhaps they would read like Trevor's, suffused as they are with light, clarity, and depth. This volume underscores Trevor's primary place in the pantheon of great short story writers and supports his status as one of the greatest literary artists of the modern era. His oeuvre suggests compelling connections and continuities among the work of de Maupassant, Chekhov, and Pritchett and that of the most gifted contemporary short story writers, including Nicola Barker and Anne Enright. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 7/10.]-J. Greg Matthews, Washington State Univ. Libs., Pullman (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
*Starred Review* Trevor's four most recent short story collections After Rain (1996), The Hill Bachelors (2000), A Bit on the Side (2004), and Cheating at Canasta (2007) merge all their pages into this deep reservoir into which avid fiction readers will dip repeatedly. Whether a story found in this magnificent accumulation is new to the reader or familiar, Trevor's technical skills for instance, abrupt time shifts that are seamless and add rich layering to both plot and characterization, and pinpoint-perfect word choice resonant as a subtle but effective spice can be readily recognized by readers with an eye to fiction construction; but on the other hand, these skills will be unconsciously gathered by readers unconcerned with technical analysis. In this master storyteller's hands, rural Ireland becomes the cosmos in which every one of us feels at home. The unfortunate ending of a friendship, the pain of a wife's discovery of her husband's affair, a husband's sacrifice of his affair so his mistress won't be regarded as just someone's bit on the side these specific situations assemble under the book's umbrella theme of ordinary life as undulating waves of pleasures and crises. High-Demand Backstory: Irishman Trevor probably won't be making any author tours in this country, but it is very likely his new book will be a cover review of the New York Times Book Review and will certainly be reviewed and positively if not enthusiastically everyplace else as well.--Hooper, Brad Copyright 2010 Booklist