Monday, 11 June 2012
Death of the Hind Legs and Other Stories
Author: John Wain
Year of publication: 1966, Penguin edition 1970
Back cover blurb: 'In John Wain's stories the characters inhabit worlds of sadness, loss and disappointment. Sometimes they win. They always get wiser.
What would they have thought if they'd seen Williams talking out loud to a tree that wasn't there? But there was now something else in that garden even more compelling than the tree that was planted the day he was born.
Dannie couldn't start looking for a new pair of hind legs at this stage of the game. They were demolishing the theatre straight after the last performance, so the fact that the back end of the pantomime horse had a heart attack in the middle of the show didn't add all that much to his worries.
Fred was strong but dim. If he set himself up as an all-in wrestler fighting in rigged bouts he could get eighty quid a week to stop Doreen nagging him. So enter King Caliban and a new Fred who stopped everyone in their tracks.'
Quick flick reveals: A short story collection from the lost man of Twentieth Century British fiction. They sound rather intriguing and don't see any reason why they wouldn't be good.
Random paragraph: 'Playfully now, I reached out and knocked on the car. Tinny beast. It had bruised my flesh and threatened to break my bones, but it could not hurt the steel and whale-bone of the umbrella. Mastery!'