An Occasion of Sin

John Montague, Author, Barry Callaghan, Editor, David Lampe, Editor White Pine Press (NY) $12 (200p) ISBN 978-1-877727-21-4
These 11 stories ably exhibit the talents of Irish writer and poet Montague ( Born in Brooklyn ). Two stories in particular stand out: a comic telling of a boy's obsession with Zane Grey and his unsuccessful expedition into town to see a western movie with some farmers; and the brilliant title story, in which a young Frenchwoman who befriends a group of clerical students on a beach earns the disapproval of other beach-goers --her innocent delight in conversation is spoiled by their suspicious thoughts. The final piece masterfully blends madness, dreams and drink as Coote, a ``renegade Ulster Protestant,'' embarks on a frenzied search for Celtic ruins in Mexico. Montague paints a grim picture of Coote and his seamy fellow exiles living in an isolated hotel and occasionally venturing to the town whorehouse. Coote's quest both enthralls and repulses his companions and leads to a shocking yet inevitable end. Montague explores dark emotions and thoughts with wonderful subtlety; he has a a deliciously wicked wit and a great range. This collection should delight Montague's veteran fans and also introduce his work to a new audience. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1995
Paperback - 225 pages - 978-1-55096-086-0
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