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Greasy Lake by T. Coraghessan Boyle
Sad, Yet Funny, Stories Found In Boyle Collection
Phil Thomas - AP
Asheville Citizen-Times 9/1/85

One of the many talents T. Coraghessan Boyle displays in this sparkling collection of 15 of his short stories is a mordant sense of humor.

In "On for the Long Haul," a chilling yet blackly humorous story about a family's efforts to escape atomic holocaust by retreating to an isolated countryside, the father has every need provided for. In addition to the obvious things, such as food, the family's cabin has on its bookshelves such aptly selected volumes as "Journal of the Plague Year" and "Hiroshima."

It may be seen again in "The Hector Quesadilla Story." This is the sad, yet funny, story of a professional baseball player who refuses to give-up the game even through he's much too old.

So he "Sits. Watches. Massages his feet ... waits at the end of the bench for a word from the manager" all for "the marimba pulse of bat striking ball, and the sweet looping arc of the clean base hit."

It's a beautifully written story, as are the others included in this fine collection.

They all can't be mentioned, but two more do deserve special attention.

One is "Greasy Lake." This tells about a group of young layabouts who lived during "a time when courtesy and winning ways went out of style, when it was good to be bad, when you cultivated decadence like a taste." Boyle starts things off slowly here but the pace quickens rapidly and the ending is frenzy.

The other is "The Overcoat II," a fine retelling of the Gogol classic. This time the story is set in contemporary Russia and Boyle's version is an absorbing one.

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  Greasy Lake and Other Stories (Contemporary American Fiction)
     
Viking 1st Hardcover edition, Date published 1985, ISBN 0-670-80542-4, 229 pages
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  Near Fine book except for remainder mark on page bottoms, in Near Fine dust jacket. Signed by the author on the title page   Near Fine $ 40.00 Add to cart
     
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