Dan's Reviews > The Gallery

The Gallery by John Horne Burns
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's review
Sep 07, 2012

liked it
Read from July 08 to August 02, 2013

Overall, this was a pretty good book with some outstanding stories. "Mama" and "Queen Penicillin" in particular make this a worthwhile read. Burns has a spotty legacy, but The Gallery is generally considered his best book, and an important, oft overlooked work in the WWII canon. I especially liked the concept. The book is a series of portraits and musings on and about the various types that find their way into the Galleria Umberto in Naples. Some are about American GIs, others are Italians, but all of them have a sad kernel of ennui for the modern world, a theme that pervades much of 20th century literature.

Much is made of the fact that Burns was gay, but with one or two exceptions these stories aren't explicitly homosexual. Instead of focusing on any one group, Burns turns his pen on a larger sense of failure. A lot of this feels old hat, but no doubt it was pretty fresh for it's day.

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Reading Progress

07/08/2013 marked as: currently-reading
08/05/2013 marked as: read
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