You Never Believe Me: And Other Stories

Davis Grubb, Author St. Martin's Press $16.95 (259p) ISBN 978-0-312-02997-5
This posthumous collection of 18 short stories by the author of The Night of the Hunter attests to the talent of this enriching, humane and under-esteemed writer. Grubb's stories are in the gothic manner, brimming with murder, madness and destructive passion, yet they are admirably controlled, and exhibit a rigorous morality mixed with an imagination undaunted by the dark chambers of the human heart. The title story is a ghoulish tale involving the disappearance of an orphan whose fantasy world becomes more real than her cruel life with her aunt and grandfather. Revenge is a prominent motif in ``Return of Verge Likens,'' where the son of a man killed by a local hoodlum spends years working on an elaborate plan of vengeance, and in ``Green Thumb,'' in which a dead man whose body was hidden by his killer wife leads authorities to the spot where he was buried. Orphans, bachelors, spinsters, cranks, psychotics and confidence men populate Grubb's remote West Virginia landscapes. Each story is introduced by an ironic comment from the author's notebooks, and the best of them are gems that will last. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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