A Thirsty Evil
Seven Short Stories
From the poignant realisation as an adult of the cruel brutality of childhood in 'The Robin', man then comes face to face with himself as a boy in 'A Moment of Green Laurel': both stories combining the nostalgia and fear that haunt us all in old age. Meanwhile, in 'Erlinda and Mr Coffin', Southern... read more etiquette is unashamedly turned upside down in a tale of amateur theatricals reminiscent of Dickens and Victorian melodrama. Yet it is in 'Three Stratagems', 'The Zenner Trophy', 'Pages from an Abandoned Journal' and 'The Ladies in the Library' (with more than a hint of Thomas Mann's Death in Venice in the latter) that we see Vidal as we know him best: cynical and provocative in these subtle tales of what was known in those days as 'sexual inversion'.