A review from Fantasy and Science Fiction
The ancient Romans believed that when men heard thunder on the left the gods had something especially important to impart.
Thunder on the Left by Christopher Morley (1925)
TO CONCOCT a unique fantasy novel, mix a dash of Virginia Woolf's interior monologues, a jigger of Robert Nathan's whimsy, a soupçon of Noel Coward's witty sophistication, a handful of Kuttneresque children, and a pinch of Robert Aickman's eerie atmospherics. Stir all ingredients in the blender of Christopher Morley's talents, and the result is the airy yet grave comedy-cum-ghost-story Thunder on the Left, whose mysterious title derives from an apocryphal quote concerning oracles.
Morley's book is that very oracle, Delphically ambiguous. The first chapter focuses on a children's birthday party in honor of a boy named Martin, introducing us to his metaphysically troubled peers and their blithely cynical parents. Jump twenty-one years into the future, when several of those children-turned-adults are now regathered at the original summer-house scene for their own stale antics of adultery and ennui. ("It didn't seem quite square to be in love with a man and his wife simultaneously.") But also present are a child ghost named Bunny and the time-slipped child-in-a man's-body, Martin. Together, the two specters toss a spanner into the calcified adult patterns of behavior.
—Paul Di Filippo
This work is in the Canadian public domain OR the copyright holder has given specific permission for distribution. It may still be under copyright in some countries. If you live outside Canada, check your country's copyright laws. If the book is under copyright in your country, do not download or redistribute this work
To report a copyright violation you can contact us here