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Hardcover Manhattan Monologues : Stories Book

ISBN: 061815289X

ISBN13: 9780618152896

Manhattan Monologues : Stories

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Book Overview

He is our sublime master of manners, our "most astute observer of moral paradox among the affluent" (Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.), and "one of the essential American writers" (Kirkus). Now, in his fifty-seventh book, Louis Auchincloss delivers a brilliant collection of ten new, previously unpublished, stories; once again, he unfailingly "voices truths with elegant precision" (Publishers Weekly). MANHATTAN MONOLOGUES charts a colorful New York century...

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

But Hasn't Mr. Auchincloss Always Been Writing `Manhattan Monologues'?

Louis Stanton Auchincloss writes such elegantly escapist fiction that I find it easy to forgive in him what I am quick to condemn in other writers, namely repetition of plot themes, settings, characters, circumstances. I overlook all this with Mr. Auchincloss simply because there is no one else today or going back at least three generations into our literary past, who cares to do or can do what Auchincloss does. No other writer today chronicles the New York upper class of yesteryear and "nearer today" in quite the same chilled manner or with the same panache. With all that out of the way let me say right off that Manhattan Monologues is extraordinarily good. Its prose is spotless, its characters precisely crafted, and as I read it I kept feeling that here alone among a thousand books were to be found stories in which no word was either out of place or wasted. Still, I'd not put this in the top five of Auchincloss' collections, for it lacked the sense of daring, of revelation, of confidence, of damning passive intrusion that made other Auchincloss anthologies so fulfilling. Divided into three sections that are roughly segregated by the era of their occurrence, Manhattan Monologues describes Auchincloss' beloved and de rigueur East Coast aristocracy, yet it travels far in so doing. From Nazi-occupied France to a marshy Atlantic Eden, to boardrooms, law firms, schools, and inside bedrooms frequently besmirched by illicit trysts, from stories told by a man condemned to self-defeat in his struggle to live up to his militant father's ideals, to exploitive industrialists suddenly done in by an unwanted attack of conscience, there is a restlessness in these ten tales that bestows more energy to what is being said than in many an obese novel I could name. Quotable, erudite, ever obscure yet ever in fashion, Louis Auchincloss' books show that at times an era and its people can only be comprehended once they have had their moment on the stage, and moved on. Oh! And before I forget to mention it, doesn't Manhattan Monologues have one of the loveliest book covers ever? Does anyone know where the painting came from, or the identity of the beauty it depicts?

Gifted writer but...

While its easy to enjoy his work, I cannot for the life of me see any difference between this and the other works of his I have read. He accurately depicts the lives of wealthy New Englanders but I had to press myself to drive through this book once I had read his other works.

PENNED WITH GRACE AND PERCEPTION

One of America's most respected authors, Louis Auchincloss has just given us a gift - his 57th book, Manhattan Monologues. As one expects from this celebrated chronicler of upper-class society, the prose is precise and telling. He reveals rather than explains, writing with grace and perception. This collection of ten stories opens with "All That May Become A Man," the chronicle of a son who cannot meet the expectations of his daring father, a former Rough Rider who considered Teddy Roosevelt both "god and friend." Agnes Seward is the heroine and narrator of "The Heiress." By way of explanation we learn that in her day it was accepted "that any ambitious and impecunious young man who elected to enter an unremunerative career......would do well to avail himself of a dowry." She did have a dowry, albeit a modest one compared to her wealthier relatives. Agnes sometimes wondered if it were not possible to be loved for herself alone rather than the financial stability she might bring to a marriage. In "Collaboration," a revelation of a couple's differing relationships with the Nazis, our narrator is an only son who finds joy in lonely rambles through the marshland of his family's summer home. It is there that he meets Mr. Slocum, a like-minded gentleman who "...was the first adult who had ever listened to me." Their friendship will deepen throughout the years. Each story is a mini masterpiece impeccably crafted and imaginatively told. - Gail Cooke

Auchincloss Monologues Chronicle Our Lives

Louis Auchincloss' lateset collection of short stories is a welcome addition to his considerable body of work. Every new contribution helps define Auchincloss as a major force in American literature.In "Manhattan Monologues," Auchincloss views the seminal events of our last century as they affect and are affceted by characters from his world: upper east side, Hamptons, Mount Desert Isalnd, New England boarding schools.His characters -- on the surface people of welath, power and priviledge -- slog through their lives just as we common folks do, with much the same results.As he so often has done in the past, Auchincloss has held up a mirror which helps us better understand the world in which we live.
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