A Bit on the Side In these twelve stories a waiter divulges a shocking life of crime to his ex wife a woman repeats the story of her parents unstable marriage after a horrible tragedy a schoolgirl regrets gossiping ab

  • Title: A Bit on the Side
  • Author: William Trevor
  • ISBN: 9780143035916
  • Page: 299
  • Format: Paperback
  • In these twelve stories, a waiter divulges a shocking life of crime to his ex wife a woman repeats the story of her parents unstable marriage after a horrible tragedy a schoolgirl regrets gossiping about the cuckolded man who tutors her and, in the volume s title story, a middle aged accountant offers his reasons for ending a love affair At the heart of this colleIn these twelve stories, a waiter divulges a shocking life of crime to his ex wife a woman repeats the story of her parents unstable marriage after a horrible tragedy a schoolgirl regrets gossiping about the cuckolded man who tutors her and, in the volume s title story, a middle aged accountant offers his reasons for ending a love affair At the heart of this collection is Trevor s characteristic tenderness and unflinching eye for both the humanizing and dehumanizing aspects of modern urban and rural life.

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      Published :2019-04-23T01:21:10+00:00

    About "William Trevor"

    1. William Trevor

      William Trevor, KBE grew up in various provincial towns and attended a number of schools, graduating from Trinity College, in Dublin, with a degree in history He first exercised his artistry as a sculptor, working as a teacher in Northern Ireland and then emigrated to England in search of work when the school went bankrupt He could have returned to Ireland once he became a successful writer, he said, but by then I had become a wanderer, and one way and another, I just stayed in England I hated leaving Ireland I was very bitter at the time But, had it not happened, I think I might never have written at all In 1958 Trevor published his first novel, A Standard of Behaviour, to little critical success Two years later, he abandoned sculpting completely, feeling his work had become too abstract, and found a job writing copy for a London advertising agency This was absurd, he said They would give me four lines or so to write and four or five days to write it in It was so boring But they had given me this typewriter to work on, so I just started writing stories I sometimes think all the people who were missing in my sculpture gushed out into the stories He published several short stories, then his second and third novels, which both won the Hawthornden Prize established in 1919 by Alice Warrender and named after William Drummond of Hawthornden, the Hawthornden Prize is one of the UK s oldest literary awards A number of other prizes followed, and Trevor began working full time as a writer in 1965.Since then, Trevor has published nearly 40 novels, short story collections, plays, and collections of nonfiction He has won three Whitbread Awards, a PEN Macmillan Silver Pen Award, and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize In 1977 Trevor was appointed an honorary he holds Irish, not British, citizenship Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire CBE for his services to literature and in 2002 he was elevated to honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire KBE Since he began writing, William Trevor regularly spends half the year in Italy or Switzerland, often visiting Ireland in the other half His home is in Devon, in South West England, on an old mill surrounded by 40 acres of land.

    794 thoughts on “A Bit on the Side”

    1. Twelve short stories; all good and one masterpiece, the title story kept till the end. “Something was different this morning; on the walk from Chiltern Street she had sensed, for an instant only, that their love affair was not as it had been yesterday.” In the blurbs, one from the New Yorker, in which Trevor published most of these stories over the years, one critic said “Trevor is probably the greatest living writer of short stories in the English language.” Well, Trevor is gone now, bu [...]


    2. 3.5 Although this author is rather new to me, there is something that attracts in his writing. He seems to have such a firm grasp of time and place, setting detailed scenes and situations. In his portrayal of people, he treats them with both tenderness and respect. In these short stories, the connecting thread seems to be loss, whether of self, a friend, a way of life, even faith. The first story, Sitting with the dead, is probably the strongest and the desolation and melancholy of this woman, w [...]


    3. “My mother had died. And my father would die, too. And Charles, too. And I would eventually die, as well, and who would be left to tell the story?”William Trevor is certainly one of the greatest writers of short stories in the English language. He has to be mentioned in the same sentence as James Joyce, whose Dubliners is one of the great collections ever, and which Trevor acknowledges some debt. Chekhov is another master Trevor admires, and he is a writer in the Chekhovian tradition, tellin [...]


    4. Can a writer be both clinical and sympathetic toward his characters? I think he can and I believe Trevor has done both in this collection. I've read other stories by Trevor that I've liked more, but I still liked this collection quite a bit. After finishing a story, I'd page back to see how he employs his craft, such deceptively simple details leading toward a cohesive whole. I especially enjoyed the stories that alternated between two characters' viewpoints: "An Evening Out," "On the Streets" a [...]


    5. The voice is still Trevor, a voice I love and one that soothes me; yet these pieces were surprisingly uneven or incomplete. Some sounded re-used. I loved, though, the first story, Sitting with the Dead, about two sisters who come visit when there's a death in the family. They make the tea, offer banalities, and the recent widow opens up.


    6. A BIT ON THE SIDE. (2004). William Trevor. ****.This is a collection of twelve short stories by Trevor, most of which had appeared previously in ‘The New Yorker’ magazine. The author is a writer of analytic bent. Passions, feelings, and any raw emotions rarely make their way into his stories. That is not to say that they are not there, but they are there so that the characters can look and think about them objectively. These tales have little in common with each other, although extramarital [...]


    7. not the best Trevor collection: a couple of stories seemed tired, almost like offcuts. However there were some just great, some that grew on me, and some standard Trevor (ie engaging, compassionate, observant, true). This was published in 2004, they could all have been written 20 years earlier (apart from an odd detail here and there: Pret a Manger in one, for example).



    8. Wow. I can't even begin to describe how thoroughly I enjoyed William Trevor's story collection A Bit on the Side. Trevor's prose is simply beautiful, and impeccably crafted. There's no clever wordplay here, no dizzying metaphors or whipsaw plot twists, no implausibly witty characters. Just everyday people living quiet, modest, lonely and often regretful lives in an Ireland of the modern era but which could easily have been fifty or a hundred years ago. The settings are vividly drawn--pubs which [...]


    9. I was looking for some short stories to read and a librarian at the Redondo Beach Public Library exclaimed that "William Trevor is the best!" and that was enough for me. Out of the abundance of his work available on the shelf, I picked out A Bit on the Side, one of his newer collections. Of all things, William Trevor certainly is gifted in his form. Writing a short story means creating lasting effects quickly and precisely. We do not get alot of details about the people in A Bit on the Side but [...]


    10. Reading William Trevor is like coming back home to a warm fire and a pair of comfy slippers. He is a gifted story teller, especially of short stories; less is more. He crafts his characters, both phsyically and psychologically, and their emotions, using the fewest number of words possible. He moves easily from Ireland to England, but his turns of phrase and use of idioms and vernacular leave the reader in no doubt where each story is set. In stories like 'Justina's Priest' he has no need to expl [...]


    11. Amazing collection of short stories. Trevor just gets better with age. Born in Southwest Cork, Trevor is equally at home with characters of every class and type, but he is especially good at describing the weak and powerless. His stories are heartbreaking and powerful in their deceptive simplicity. He is a master of point of view as he switches seamlessly from character to character exposing complex relationships and changes. Some of my favorite stories are in his other collections, but the titl [...]


    12. I love the subtlety in Trevor's writing. These stories are delicate, forming a doorway into moments when the main characters are at their most human. This collection was recommended to me in particular for the child character portrayal in "Solitude." Trevor's technique in the child perspective is interesting. I like how when the narrator is a child all you get is matter of fact observations and recitation of judgments spouted by the adult characters, even when the main turning point of the story [...]


    13. Listening to the audio book proved to be a mistake. Trevor's language is elegant and listening to it was a pleasure, like slipping into a hot bath after a hard day. But given that he's such a subtle, at times elliptical, writer, I missed the turns he made in a couple stories, something which probably wouldn't have happened had the text been in front of me.


    14. A short story collection, so hard to sum up! Mostly set in Ireland in various historical periods, the stories are all well-crafted and self-contained. Most are driven entirely by character -- no plot surprises here -- and tend towards a darker view of the world.


    15. At its best, this collection draws a clear line from Joyce's Dubliners-- subtle character studies and achingly human moments. Even in its less perfect stories it's well-crafted, empathetic, and entertaining.




    16. I've been going back and forth between these stories by William Trevor and a collection by Richard Bausch called Walking in the Weather of the World. They are both wonderful, and Richard Bausch's fantastic title for his collection could equally serve for Trevor's title. Both books detail the lives of people who are hurting: heartbroken, physically broken, financially undone, or spiritually barren. Yet both have moments of lust, love, hopefulness, and generosity. I guess the point is that these, [...]


    17. I've always loved the way William Trevor tells stories. Almost every sentence coming out of his pen is delicate and tender and full of confusion. Alice Munro seems to share quite a similar style of putting words together, but somehow her way of doing it just irritates me to no end.And as much as I am all for feminism, I have been disappointed for a long time with female writers writing male characters. Women are sensitive, and they are so good at capturing nuances in emotions and feelings. But i [...]


    18. A very enjoyable set of short stories and the author's notable sympathy for his characters shines through in all their different circumstances. Some of the endings felt more definitive than others and I think I liked the ones that felt as though they left off in the middle or at a transition best. Especially enjoyed the last story about the everyday intimacy at the end of a love affair and one in the middle about a little girl with a horrible tragedy to share - without spoiling it I loved the ti [...]



    19. A great collection from a master of the short story. 'Graillis' Legacy' and 'A Bit on the Side' are standouts. Gorgeous language, filled with (subtle) emotion. Highly recommended.


    20. A wonderful adventure with a new author. The title story, the last in the collection, refers to an affair finally ended by the man's guilt. This was my second favorite of the collection. After completion, I was compelled to re-read my favorite, the first story, "Sitting with the dead". This is a story of a woman married rather late in life to a man who was disapproved by her family. After twenty odd years of abusive marriage, he dies. Two well meaning elderly sisters in this small Irish village [...]





    21. Time for more of WT's perfection. I hope he wins that Nobel Prize soon as he's really getting up there in age. Alice Munro won last year soSitting with the Dead - The death of a peckerhead As usual Mr. T focuses in on stunted lives and bad decisions lived with. As usual he brings it home strong - a typical Trevor flourish: bitterness, regret, despair. Reminds me of Alice Munro's "Runaway"Traditions - I'd read this one before in the New Yorker. Many in the collection were first published there. O [...]


    22. William Trevor has a reputation as a short story master, and A Bit On The Side does nothing in my mind to contradict his reputation. Each tale is a carefully constructed gem of simple, clear writing. Simple people in real life dilemmas who touch the heart as they work their way through their difficulties. And yet. And yet. Yet what? I ask myself. Well, exquisite as Trevor’s writing craft is, it is often a bit too obvious. The carefully chosen scene. The details of the passing landscape or huma [...]


    23. William Trevor’s collection of short stories, A Bit on the Side, is uniformly excellent, each story a minor masterpiece of narrative, character, theme and setting.The closest comparison in English is Dubliners, by James Joyce, and not only because both writers are Irish. Joyce through sheer economy and prose music comes out ahead, but this doesn’t discredit Trevor much. Both writers focus on the private moments of private people, looking for some miracle of happiness or sadness in life, som [...]


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