With his “sheer mastery of narrative,” the British novelist takes a detour into the uncanny and wondrously absurd in these “compelling” stories (The Guardian).
An ambitious departure for an author renowned for his realism, this collection of short fiction “collectively . . . [engages] in a reconnaissance through the dustier reaches of man’s experience with [the] spectres of doubt, defeat, failure and paradox” (Kirkus Reviews).
In “Under the Garden,” William Wilditch, a restless loner given to wanderlust, takes one final journey as he approaches death—back to his childhood home where he discovers that the memories of his youth are simply not to be believed. In “A Visit to Morin,” an admirer and old friend of a once-renowned Catholic writer is unprepared for the startling confessions of the spiritually bereft, now-reclusive scribe. On a vast plantation, a peculiar wish is granted a poor leper by his physician-in-charge—and for one rowdy winter night, a “Dream of a Strange Land” becomes a reality. Finally, for a group of children scouting the apocalyptic ruins at the edge of their village, “A Discovery in the Woods” opens their eyes to a lost world they never knew existed.
With these versatile forays into myth, memory, magic realism, and dystopian futures, Greene once again proves himself “a storyteller of genius” (Evelyn Waugh).