Books: Unease in the Night

END OF THE GAME by Julio Cortázar. 277 pages. Pantheon. $5.95.

A young man in Paris gradually turns into a salamander. An elegant young girl crosses a bridge in Budapest and becomes an aged crone in the process. A motorcyclist, after skidding into a curb, finds himself lashed to an Aztec altar as a priest approaches with a knife. The nastiest member of an Argentine family walks into the wrong room and is eaten by a tiger.

All of these surreal situations are en countered in this collection of truly scary short stories by Argentina's Julio Cortazar (Hopscotch), who lives and works in...

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