From Library Journal
In "Three Evenings," the title story and centerpiece of expatriate British author Lasdun's second collection of short fiction, an aspiring journalist finds himself entangled in a destructive relationship with an older woman. In "Spiders and Manataes," a British professor of Greek at a small Connecticut college is strongly touched by her encounter with an all-American jock. The power of these well-written stories is somewhat blunted by Lasdun's reliance on familiar stock characters of British literature--boorish, uncultured Americans and imperious, domineering women--and American readers will wince at typical British howlers, as when the college jock shows off the "harpoon dart" scars he got skin-diving in St. Croix. Appropriate for larger collections of contemporary British writing.- Edward B. St. John, Loyola Law Sch. Lib., Los Angeles
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
Lasdun's short-story surrealism made an impression in his 1986 debut, Delirium Eclipse, but the lavish stylization and overdetermination of this young British writer's method comes up shorter this time. Out of eight stories here, only one has some ballast to it, ``Age/Menos, or The Miracle'': a young man propelling himself into a continuous loop of misidentity--which is clever and surprising. The other stories are slighter; strange reversals occur or mysteries are revealed, but all are hurried along to conclusion. The shiny but decidedly louche quality of Lasdun's poetic prose doesn't help. In small descriptive doses it's okay, but too often it clots archly: ``Precisely that passive, unintended, but nevertheless culpable relation was what seemed exposed in me, and no doubt what this connection lacked in logic was more than made up for by my abundant willingness to take a symbolic or even superstitious interpretation of anything pertaining to my own easy status as a volunteer.'' So, though Lasdun's ideal model might be Henry James's ghost stories, the actual execution here more suggests an overupholstered Roald Dahl. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.