I once knew an essentially selfish man who thought of everything, even the people he loved, in terms of what they could do for him. And when he didn’t benefit, he could be angry and resentful and hurtful. He knew better, and he often regretted it and apologized and resolved to do better, but he never really learned how to be anything other than selfish. Even when apologizing and trying to make amends, deep down, it was about himself and his perception of himself, not about the hurt that he caused to others. Such a person is hard to love. They burn through relationships, taking and taking and taking, until even the kindest and most giving person is eventually sucked dry.
…also, I don’t think Hardy liked women much, if this novel is anything to go on.
Audiobook version, via Audible. Excellent performance by Pamela Garelick.
I had such fun with the contents of Resorting To Murder--that is, doing basically one short-story in between each novel I read (with the last few tales being polished off as a group, since it was so easy to do with a mere 40 or so pages left)--that I'm going to keep going with this approach, but with Horror taking the place of Mystery, as my focus. Halloween is very close, after all...
I very much enjoyed this collection of Gothic and creepy stories originally released in the 1940's. I generally prefer short tales that pack a punch, and these are definitely not that. However, they often have a good deal of humor and that sense of atmosphere in which I love to wallow.
The standouts to me were:
A VISITOR FROM DOWN UNDER was, for me, a beautifully told ghost story/tale of revenge.
PODOLO A nice little day trip to the island of Podolo takes a nasty turn. This one reminded me that feral cats may not be worth the effort.
THE TRAVELLING GRAVE was quite the funny story involving a misunderstanding involving perambulators. (Is that word even used anymore? It's a shame if it's not because it's a word that rolls nicely off the tongue.) Anyway, the humor of the situation quickly changed to horror at the gruesome ending. Always be careful playing hide & seek!
CONRAD AND THE DRAGON I wasn't sure what to make of this fairy tale like...tale. It didn't have the usual fairy tale ending, but I found it to be totally charming.
THREE OR FOUR, FOR DINNER was another tale involving some humor and a practical joke gone wrong.
This was my first experience with L.P. Hartley and I'm so glad I gave this collection a try! Recommended!
*Thank you to Valancourt Books for the e-ARC in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*
First Person Present Tense ought to come with a &!^@* warning label. I’m going to have to start checking the samples on every book I buy now. It’s spreading from YA into general adult fic like a plague of cockroaches that can’t be stamped out.
DNF after suffering through the first chapter and realizing it wasn’t going to go away. Audiobook, via Audible. No opinion on the narrator performance.