After Bathing at Baxter's

D. J. Taylor

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01 March 2012
188 pages

Dorfman likes watching the planes take off towards a wider world than his – and is afraid of flying. Fuchs dreams of going to England to escape from pornography – and never does. In 1960s Norfolk a boy is introduced to the world of art – and is repulsed by the bohemian life. When Elvis dies his stand-in not only loses his job but also his raison d’être.

After Bathing At Baxter’s is a wonderful and sharply written collection of short stories about dreams of leaving, about the hopes of escaping mediocrity and the pain of failure. Wryly funny, often touching, they prove D. J. Taylor a master of the short story.

‘A compelling collection of short stories. . . After Bathing At Baxter’s is tough, sentimental, sad and funny: this is “dirty realism” with a sense of humour and heart’ Shena MacKay

‘Good short-story writers are rarer than good novelists, which makes the appearance of one as good as Taylor all the more welcome’ Allan Massie