Books: Artful Legerdemain

THE STORIES OF WILLIAM SANSOAA (422 pp.) -William Sansom -Little, Brown ($6).

The worlds William Sansom surprises into life are populated with gentle stranglers and murderous lovers, with beasts that think like men and men who dream themselves into beasts. Their environs are often menacing and unfailingly strange: "The shadow of a cloud was passing over the map, it came towards him like a fast-moving tide, heaving the hills as it came. It came at a fast windblown pace, eating up the fields, blotting out life like the edge of a dangerous sea moving...

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