Toby Lichtig

Small Town Tales

Pieces for the Left Hand

By

Granta 213pp £10 order from our bookshop

J Robert Lennon’s Pieces for the Left Hand comprises one hundred literary titbits, mostly no longer than a page – a smorgasbord of condensed observations about middle America in the form of finely honed parables. Lennon’s voice is wry, and the style always plain, though the tales range from the prosaic to the paranormal. His medium is absurdity, and perhaps his foremost target is human affectation – starting with his own. In the introduction, we are told how he regards his writerly solitude: ‘with a kind of moral superiority’. This he ‘swiftly quashes, but not without a moment of amusement at his own vanity’. ‘The author’, we are told, ‘is often amused by his faults.’

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Something of an 'eccentric billionaire’s hobby': reviews 'The Space Barons: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and… ,
    • "At the age of fifteen, drunk on stolen Chardonnay or stoned on pot at a swimming party, the thoughts that come imm… ,
    • For the latest Bookends, here's Alan Taylor musing on his stint as an assistant librarian. ,
    • A ‘pretentious ass and impotent arriviste’ who surrounded himself with ‘degenerates, hooligans, childish layabouts,… ,
    • . reviews 'Aristotle’s Way: How Ancient Wisdom Can Change Your Life' by ,
    • "As Beevor shows, it was one of the most daring, dangerous and fiercely fought operations of the whole war. It was… ,
    • "The characters are very rich and very male, with astronomical ambitions. The potted biographies in this book sugge… ,