Hardly Working: Stories

Richard Thorman, Author Louisiana State University Press $16.95 (128p) ISBN 978-0-8071-1583-1
The six stories in this collection are redolent of their rural West Virginia settings, a world of tenant farmers, cheating husbands, small-time entrepreneurs and hardworking poor. Thorman ( Backman's Law ) handles the complexities of human relations with wit and delicacy. Bitter humor fuels the satisfactory conclusion of the title story, wherein a would-be entrepreneur in the fish business discovers that it is feet of clay his erstwhile mentor has encased in his tight cowboy boots. Poignancy dominates the mood in two other stories: ``Family Man,'' where we see a cheating husband take leave of his pregnant girlfriend; and ``The Stradivarius,'' with its double theme of loss by death and betrayal. This latter is especially memorable for the subtle evolution of a simple musician's rage into charity and inner peace. Lively, engaging personalities confront the familiar complications of life in these entertaining tales. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1990
Release date: 03/01/1990
Genre: Fiction
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