‘Last Night’ by James Salter

James Salter has always been one of my absolutely favourite writers. Part of my fascination with him arises from the fact that, in reality, there are many aspects of his writing that I don’t admire. He doesn’t write good stories, his characters are shallow and not memorable. He writes about a world of spoilt, middle-class Americans who one doesn’t want to meet. But there is something in the prose which frequently leaves one gasping. His writing is wonderfully banal and cruel and sensuous. He takes you right the reality of what it is to live in this world. He was undoubtedly one of the top prose stylists of the last century and the short story is a form which suits him well. 

First published in The New Yorker, November 2002, and available to subscribers to read online here. Collected in Last Night, Alfred A. Knopf 2005/Picador, 2007

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s