The Young Lions

”This time it is not a simple, understandable war, within the same culture. This time it is an assault of the animal world upon the house of the human being. I don’t know what you saw in Africa and Italy, but I know what I saw in Russia and Poland. We made a cemetery a thousand miles long and a thousand miles wide. Men, women, children, Poles, Russians, Jews, it made no difference. It could not be compared to any human action. It could...

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The Troubled Air

This was the longest time I've ever spent reading an Irwin Shaw novel. I somehow thought this would be one of his better written ones, as the Red Scare had personally affected him. Turns out I was wrong."The Troubled Air" concerns Clement Archer, the director of a popular radio program. Archer is a well-liked man in his forties, who is dealing with his wife's pregnancy as well as his teenage daughter's nearing venture into adulthood....

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Nightwork

here are lots of personal reasons for my declining to take my nose out of this over the couple of days it took to read. Much of it takes place in Switzerland, where I live. The main character other than the narrator is a hustler, and that includes bridge, my game. Reading of his exploits gambling with the wealthy patrons of the ski resorts made me recall the trip I once made to St Moritz looking for a big bridge game. Little did we know that...

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Acceptable Losses

A 65-year Roger Damon receives an anonymous call at night. The unknown caller is threatening him insisting on a meeting. Roger ignores the meeting, though his life is changed forever: he gets back to his memories, recalls his losses and victories, friends he once had, women he once loved, stupid things he once did and what his whole life is worth now. Slowly he's going through these ghosts of the past realizing that the threatener, whoever he...

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Tip on a Dead Jockey

Tip on a Dead Jockey is a collection of stories that are all of a piece in tone and theme and character. Each of them is humorless, unhappy, concerned with failure. For Shaw the salt seems to have lost its savor. For the most part, he here is writing about Americans in Europe where Shaw himself has been living for the past few years. But Europe is only a picture postcard backdrop before which his escapist Americans trail out thin and...

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The Top of the Hill

Michael Storr's joy comes from physical danger as a parachutist, a surfer, a hang glider, a free faller, a reckless skier. Oppressed by his life in New York City, he feels choked by his career as an executive in a high powered office as an executive in a high powered office, choked by the airless world of air conditioned towers. His own sanity depends on his finding a purer, simpler, more vigorous existence, and he sets out to search for one,...

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