Short Story Donald Hall Ideal Bakery

ISBN 13: 9780060971663

Ideal Bakery

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9780060971663: Ideal Bakery
From Publishers Weekly:

This is the first collection of fiction from poet and essayist Hall (Fathers Playing Catch with Sons, etc.). The narratives are structured with compelling logic, the details of character and setting are lyrical, economical and often surprising. Half of these dozen stories concern the politics of sex, a subject Hall handles in an analytical tone thick with irony. "The world is a bed," concludes one smug character who, decades later, receives his comeuppance. Another man in another tale, desperate to believe in a romantic ideal, "remembered how they had walked on bleak Hollywood Boulevard stepping on stars as he monologued, unable in his panic to stop talking about love." Other stories chronicle the passing of generations, and these cut closer to the heart. Best of the lot is the title story"no story at all," the narrator says. "Several times a week I am ten years old sitting in a booth at the Ideal Bakery, loving my tender father who smiles across the tabletop." This childhood memory evokes a family history that Hall renders with typically spare and moving descriptions.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

This finely crafted first collection of short stories is a welcome addition to Hall's varied canon. It offers themes familiar from his poetry and plays: the return to and reexamination of one's past, change and continuity from generation to generation, the omnipresence of death. Like Hall's early poetry, these stories are perhaps too carefully written and so at times toneless and inconsequential; thus, "The Fifty-Dollar Bill" begins: "I am a lawyer in Akron, Ohio. I am respected in my profession. . . ." Yet in "Keats's Birthday," the controlled narration is extremely effective in its contradiction of the characters' lack of control in life and, more importantly, in death. Elsewhere, Hall successfully balances his impeccable prose with surprise, vitality. Though at moments overly nostalgic, this work is highly recommended.Taryn Schaeneman, English Dept., Kingsborough Community Coll., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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