The Dear Departed: Brian Moore’s short stories reveal a writer’s journey

Book review: Moore’s short form work from before 1962 hit on varying degrees of success

Author Brian Moore enjoying the view from his seaside home with his wife Jean in  1987 in Malibu, California. Photograph: Paul Harris/Getty

Author Brian Moore enjoying the view from his seaside home with his wife Jean in 1987 in Malibu, California. Photograph: Paul Harris/Getty

I am always worried that Brian Moore will be forgotten. There’s no reason why he should be, while novels like The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne and Lies of Silence are still read, but most of his other novels - he published 20 under his own name - slip in and out of print, and his best novels (The Doctor’s Wife, The Emperor of Ice-Cream) seem barely known these days.

It’s not just - I hope - a sort of northern chauvinism that makes me rate this fellow Belfast man as one of the 20th century greats: his protean qualities and his faultless blend of character analysis with plot mark him out from his peers. But I didn’t know about his output of short stories, and this slim collection from Turnpike Books collects the bulk of it.

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