Serving Suggestions: Stories

Michael Carson, Author
Michael Carson, Author Victor Gollancz $24.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-575-05436-3
Reviewed on: 05/30/1994
Release date: 06/01/1994
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British writer Carson's imaginative versatility is showcased in a collection of 26 unusual stories set in a variety of locales and eras. In ``The Punishment of Luxury,'' a man is executed for driving a car in a futuristic London where environmental correctness has gone too far; in ``The Consolation Bridges Bring,'' a concentration camp survivor now living in San Francisco is killed when he casts aside his timidity while riding a bus. Many of the stories have religious or moral overtones, heightened by the author's inventiveness and often wicked black humor. A missionary nun sends her illegitimate son home to Ireland as a Christmas greeting to her benefactors in ``On the Left Side.'' In ``Worried About Dolores,'' a Filipina maid goes to church after damaging her employer's ``manhood.'' Many of these stories were first broadcast on BBC Radio 4, including the four that deal with the precocious and pious Benson, a young Catholic boy living among ``Methodists and other pagans,'' and who was also a character in Carson's first novel, Sucking Sherbet Lemons. This collection is hard to categorize. But each story is brief and entertaining, and every one displays the polish of an accomplished writer. (Apr.)
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