Memoirs of the Late MR Ashley

Marianne Hauser, Author Sun & Moon $16.95 (362p) ISBN 978-0-940650-66-4
Hauser spins a dismal tale chronicling the misadventures of the late Mr. Ashley, who tells his story from beyond the grave. He recounts that he married for money, despised his wife, pretended to write a book (playing tapes of typing noise behind closed doors), escaped to live with his gay lover from the gutter, and tormented and abused his daughter just before his sudden death. Although the author refers to her book as a ""comedy,'' it comes across as tiring rather than amusing. Indeed, Hauser quotes Oscar Wilde, ``the zeitgeist of an age that has no soul,'' but her style lacks the cleverness and irony within which Wilde could reveal a nugget of truth. (July =FICTION REPRINTS UNDER THE BANYAN TREE R. K. Narayan. Penguin, $6.95 ISBN 0-14-008012-0 The 28 short pieces in this collection are set in the fictional town of Malgudi, and together they provide a panorama of life in India. PW stated that Narayan's ``storytelling is something to treasure: he creates an entire world within a few pages, with characters one cares about.'' (July)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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