The Dwarfs

Harold Pinter, Author Grove/Atlantic $17.95 (183p) ISBN 978-0-8021-1385-6
British playwright Pinter's semi-absurdist novel of stunted lives in 1950s London is a story of friendship, love and betrayal. As in his plays, the characters often talk past one another into an existential void. The precarious equilibrium of a trio of male friends is disrupted when one of them, Pete, falls in love with Virginia. He puts her on a pedestal or, alternately, treats her as a slut or boyish pal. Advising him are Mark, a frustrated actor who blithely accepts that ``everything's a calamity,'' and Len, who escapes his dull job in a train station through abstract mathematics and playing violin to his cat. Written in the early 1950s, Pinter's only novel was the genesis for his play of the same title; revised in 1989, the work is being published for the first time (had it been issued earlier, it would not have made his reputation). As the foursome oscillates between mistrust and communion, the dialogue veers from minimalist chatter to booming Shakespearean eloquence, with an occasional glowing line and lambent lyricism relieving long stretches of soul-searching angst. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1990
Release date: 10/01/1990
Paperback - 192 pages - 978-0-8021-3266-6
Hardcover - 183 pages - 978-0-571-14446-4
Paperback - 52 pages - 978-0-8222-1733-6
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