By Iain Crichton Smith
Tom and Vera Mallow, who're in just their early thirties, may certainly be stated to be within the autumn in their lives already, they're university academics, either one of them, yet with none robust feeling for kids, and with no nay childrens in their personal. Their outlook is cautious; they carry themselves aside. after they invite Tom's mom to percentage their domestic, they achieve this from a feeling of accountability instead of love. yet after autumn, we discover, comes summer season; and it's the moms – Tom's and, later Vera's – who in striking methods opposite the march of the seasons: Mrs Mallow as irritant, together with her incongruous friendship with Mrs Murphy, a Catholic and of a decrease social category; after which Angela, the vivacious ex-actress, from the a special international, to supply catharsis. here's a sympathetic and weird examine of a wedding that, strangely and opposed to the chances, takes definitely the right turning; notwithstanding lest a person may still consider that Crichton Smith is succumbing to sentiment, the novel's final web page echoes the veiled foreboding of it first. once more he reminds us, with indirect irony, of the poet lurking at the back of the novelist,
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Extra info for An End to Autumn
It was clear that Gustl had reason to think we might click, so I readily agreed. I thought Gustl's gesture was so nice, that I told him not to be afraid to come and see me if things didn't go better with him. We met a few days later in a little park, not far off from where I lived. It had a children's bathing pool, and swings and other playtime devices. I found it a delightful place, ringing with children's carefree voices, and the splash of their small bodies as they threw themselves into the water.
One or two of us were pursuing choristers or telegraph boys (in imagination), others young beauties of our own generation (with varying success), and only one, as far as I can remember, liked older men and had yielded to the importunities of a famous writer who used to visit Cambridge fairly frequently. A friend who had grown to be very close to me, interested in literary experiments as I was, a non-Etonian, told me that he had agreed to go to bed with a young man who languished for him, quite clinically described the episode to me as if it had not been more than an interesting experiment, and admitted that the physical side had slightly disgusted him.
I was, however, not entirely right in this advance judgement. One of the younger men, a few years older than myself, invited me to an evening party at his house a month or two after I had joined. I had the impression that he had been keeping a careful eye on me. As soon as I turned up at his house, he showed me almost excessive friendliness, far more than I expected. The party was mixed, and very crowded in the comparatively small rooms. He introduced me to a large number of people, both male and female, whose names I immediately forgot, and then suggested I sit down on the floor beside a young man who greeted me with especial sympathy just as if he had wanted to meet me for a long time while my host went to get me a drink.