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A Bit on the Side | [William Trevor]

A Bit on the Side

William Trevor is truly a Chekhov for our age, and a new collection of stories from him is always a cause for celebration.
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Publisher's Summary

William Trevor is truly a Chekhov for our age, and a new collection of stories from him is always a cause for celebration. These 12 stories include:

The waiter who divulges his shocking life of crime to his ex-wife. A woman repeats the story of her parents' unstable marriage after a horrible tragedy. The schoolgirl who regrets gossiping about the cuckolded man who tutors her. A middle-aged couple meet in a theatre bar for a squalid blind date. The disappointed priest who fears an innocent young girl may run away from home. Two self-certain sisters visit a newly widowed local woman. And, in the volume's title story, a middle-age accountant offers his reasons for ending a love affair.

From these slender moments Trevor creates whole lives, conjuring up characters marked by bitterness and loss. William Trevor's graceful prose is a wonder in itself, and as convincing when inhabiting the mind of a school lunchmaid, an adulterous Irish country librarian, or a murderer on the London streets. And as is always the case with William Trevor, venom and tragedy are never far from the still surface of the stories.

At the heart of this stunning collection is Trevor's characteristic tenderness and unflinching eye for both the humanizing and dehumanizing aspects of modern urban and rural life.

©2004 William Trevor; (P)2004 Tantor Media, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"William Trevor really is the best short story writer alive." (Washington Post Book World)
"In these stories, as always in his fiction, Trevor adds to our understanding of human nature." (Booklist)
"The much-lauded Trevor explores the many sources and shadings of regret with his usual delicate but brilliant psychological nuance, brightened occasionally by nostalgia for the lost love that once impelled his characters forward." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.4 (40 )
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3.8 (18 )
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4.2 (18 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Kathleen Yorklyn, DE, United States 10-07-05
    Kathleen Yorklyn, DE, United States 10-07-05 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
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    52
    5
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    "Writing of the highest order"

    I was not familiar with the author before this, and selected the book just because I've heard Trevor referred to as "another Chekhov." This collection of short stories deals with sometimes uncomfortable truths and disillusioned relationships. Yes, the characters are forlorn, but how many of us reach middle-age without a few regrets? I think Trevor knows us all, and so I found the stories compelling.
    However, Trevor is a demanding author, and you do need to listen carefully to catch the sometimes subtle time lapses. But he is never less than amazing -- he seems to paint portraits of totally ordinary people who are yet so very memorable. Another reviewer wrote that "ending a short story does not allow us to leave the characters alone." The stories are, in a word, unforgettable.
    The narration was excellent as well. Two narrators alternated with the 12 tales, and both were wonderful. I would listen again, on a train ride, or on vacation.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Werner Brooklyn, NY, USA 05-05-05
    Werner Brooklyn, NY, USA 05-05-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
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    2
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    "Trevor at his best"

    Those who have read the great stories of William Trevor in the New Yorker and elsewhere will not be disappointed with this selection. Here is Trevor at his mature best. And, oh yes, you do have to listen carefully. Trevor does not write for lazy readers, and lazy listeners in the audio format will just have to listen over again. But listening a second time is actually recommended for all. There is nothing like great fiction like this to learn what the Irish heart is and how it feels.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Raynham, MA, United States 06-14-12
    John Raynham, MA, United States 06-14-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    40
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    "Great stories from a true master"

    If you don't know the work of William Trevor, this is a great place to start. His attention to character and detail are first rate, and his plotting is always subtle, endings that will stay with you long afterward. Meanwhile, the writing is beautiful, but at the same time economical. A veritable lesson on the craft can be found in each of these stories.

    There are many I re-listened to immediately. He's that good.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    maija 02-06-13
    maija 02-06-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Trevor and these interperters make a great combina"
    What did you love best about A Bit on the Side?

    The wonderful writing of William Trevor.
    Simon Vance voice.


    What other book might you compare A Bit on the Side to and why?

    ????????


    Which scene was your favorite?

    the young uncommunicating couple in the second story.


    If you could rename A Bit on the Side, what would you call it?

    Lost in Silence


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carly Austin, TX, USA 03-21-05
    Carly Austin, TX, USA 03-21-05
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    2
    Overall
    "NOT enjoyable"

    uninteresting snippets of life with difficult to follow storylines without significant purpose.

    0 of 17 people found this review helpful
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