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Secret Villages

By (author) Douglas Dunn
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Faber & Faber, London, United Kingdom
Published: 15th Apr 1985
Dimensions: w 140mm h 200mm
ISBN-10: 0571134432
ISBN-13: 9780571134434
Barcode No: 9780571134434

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Kirkus US
Gently humorous, humane stories by a Scottish poet. True, local color is on firm, discreet display here - especially in "The Bagpiping People" and "The Canoes," about townsmen and their relationship with tourists. ("I treated them to one of my lugubrious waves, which I am so good at that no one else is allowed to make one while I am there. How many times, after all, have the holiday-types said to us, 'We will remember you forever'? It is a fine thing, to be remembered.") Yet Dunn is most comfortable with the inner localizations of class. In "Twin-Sets and Pickle Forks," tea-shop waitresses take relentless measure of their customers; in "Mozart's Clarinet Concerto" and "Getting Used To It," working-class parents learn to accommodate their children's up-class interests and educations. Also, in some of the pieces, Dunn goes to the artistic/academic well for his comedy - "A Night Out at the Club Harmonica," "Wives In The Garden" (aging ex-beatniks), "Ever Let The Fancy Roam" - and here he can be as stinging as he is tweedy. Still, all of these stories are essentially good-natured, forgiving, and naturally harmonizing, never straining for spectacular effects or impeccable postures: an appealing voice from abroad, well presented in an engaging collection. (Kirkus Reviews)