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Sinclair Lewis, "The Willow Walk"
I was delighted to read Sinclair Lewis' 1918 short story "The Willow Walk"
, in Go East Young Man: Sinclair Lewis on Class in America
. Delighted, and quite surprised - the story is a major departure for Lewis, and has little of his trademark satire or social commentary. Instead, it reads almost like noir, and is even sort of Jim Thompson-esque in its deliberate narration of a crime from the perspective of the perpetrator. (But without any of Thompson's usual psychopathic killing sprees - the crime is embezzlement, not murder.) I didn't even figure out the purpose of the protagonist's very odd habits (which, it turns out, were painstakingly set up to cover the protagonist's tracks) until halfway through the story, since I never anticipated that there would be a crime involved. The ending even has a psychological thriller feel, as the protagonist becomes mentally unglued and longs to confess his crime. Great story, and well worth your time.
October 11, 2012 in Books | Permalink