The title story, first in the line up deals with the loss of youth. It is more correctly a novella, and is considerably longer than the other stories. Set in Sicily, in the 1960's it tells the tale of a young man and his love affair with an older woman. Narrated by an elderly man, telling the story of his youth - as a young American art student travelling the world. He meets a sophisticated older woman at a hotel pool - she is a countess, travelling with her doctor companion.
By Paul Theroux (Hamish Hamilton 247 pp. £14.99)This book consists of a novella and five short stories (two long, three short). It is the novella that has given its title to the collection, and from the prominence accorded to it on the jacket one might assume, from a casual......provides not one twist but four. These reveal the woman to be far off the age that the youth had assumed; the doctor to be, in fact, a plastic surgeon constantly on hand to rejuvenate her; her even more aged husband to have been a clandestine witness in the hotel to the whole raging affair; and the affair itself to be both a repetition and a forerunner of others similar to it.
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