CategoryPritchett V.S.

V.S. Pritchett, ‘The Scapegoat’ (1956)

The end of the volume, and the second consecutive Pritchett story, this time focusing on the residents of Terence Street, who are determined to raise more money for the Jubilee than their rivals on Earl Street. My feelings about ‘The Scapegoat’ are as mixed as they were about ‘The Aristocrat’ — it’s interesting to read, and I particularly appreciate the irony of the ending; yet still I’m left with a sense that something is lacking.

Rating: ***½

V.S. Pritchett, ‘The Aristocrat’ (1956)

An old man entertains the regulars at a pub with magic tricks, but is not all he seems. This was a very enjoyable story to read; I particularly liked some of Pritchett’s imagery at the beginning (such as this, describing one pub-goer: ‘A pair of yellow gloves drooped in one hand like the most elegant banana-skins’). So it’s a little frustrating that there doesn’t seem to be much more to the piece besides a sting-in-the-tale ending.

Rating: ***½

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