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Alfred Hayes (1911–1985)

Forfatter af In Love

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Includes the name: Alfred Hayes

Værker af Alfred Hayes

In Love (1953) 266 eksemplarer
My Face for the World to See (1958) 188 eksemplarer
The Girl on the Via Flaminia (1949) 98 eksemplarer
The End of Me (1900) 33 eksemplarer
Clash by Night [1952 film] (1952) — Screenwriter — 20 eksemplarer
All Thy Conquests (1946) 15 eksemplarer
Jewish Holiday Dances (1948) 9 eksemplarer
These Thousand Hills [1959 film] — Screenwriter — 3 eksemplarer
Welcome to the Castle (1950) 1 eksemplar
The big time 1 eksemplar
Zaljubljeni (2022) 1 eksemplar
Zakochany (2021) 1 eksemplar
מאוהב 1 eksemplar

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An occasionally smart, occasionally clumsy construction, Alfred Hayes' first novel from 1946 shows an author who had a good eye but did not yet know where to train his lens. Like its superior successor The Girl on the Via Flaminia, released the following year, All Thy Conquests takes place in the noirish nights of Rome in 1944, a few months after the Allies have liberated it from the Germans. Both conquerors and conquered have become disillusioned; sexual politics and shame have become potent, and no one throws flowers any more. "Now when a girl smiled she was hustling" (pg. 99). But whereas Via Flaminia flourished in this setting by focusing on the dynamics of one American soldier and his compromised Italian bed-mate, All Thy Conquests dilutes itself.

The novel follows three different American soldiers in similar situations to the one in Via Flaminia, though none of those three seem to differ greatly in their characterisation. Hayes also attempts to have their stories intersect, but they never do so with any purpose, and there is also another story of a native Fascist mayor who is tried and then lynched by the townspeople because he helped facilitate a German reprisal. This should be fascinating, but it never flows well with the other stories, which are themselves unremarkable. Whereas The Girl on the Via Flaminia's clarity is intoxicating due to its focus, All Thy Conquests' is bewildering due to its looseness. Only one of the two novels can be recommended, and unfortunately it is not the one reviewed here.
… (mere)
 
Markeret
MikeFutcher | Nov 10, 2023 |
My three previous experiences of Alfred Hayes have each been excellent, in their different ways, like Edward Hopper paintings in written form. But while The End of Me again brings forth those desolate Hopper-like characters, it is a lesser read. This time, Hayes forgets to bring that all-important light which Hopper never failed to add, and which really makes the composition into a work of art.

Hayes' previous books were all about a vision of a good world that our characters were too broken to reach; The End of Me, instead, has an almost nihilistic vision. There's no good country for old men, nor for young men or women either, and while our protagonist, Asher, claims to refute the poet Michael's depiction of a world "more destructive, more finally poisoned… aimed at one like a gun" (pg. 59), there's not really anything in his journey which really supports it. Both Asher and Michael – and the improbably-named Aurora d'Amore, the vampish girl in this love triangle – have a bitter and nihilistic worldview. Though Michael is malicious with it – and has the support of Aurora in this – Asher is also willing to destroy. He is willing to destroy himself – he wants to be "demolished" (pg. 147) by these children and their "terrible games" (pg. 134).

Those who have read anything by Hayes won't be surprised by this content, but it doesn't take as well in The End of Me as it does in other novels. The writing itself, though accomplished, is just less remarkable. There's no phrase as potent as the "delayed ship moving slowly south" that I noted in my review of My Face for the World to See. The book's snowy New York setting isn't evoked even half as well as the noirish Rome in The Girl on the Via Flaminia. And Aurora isn't given the opportunity to make a counterpoint that makes the female character in In Love redeemable, and instead alternates cartoonishly between cruel vamp and fragile doormat.

The character dynamics are less clear than the main relationship conflicts in Face (a toxic May-December romance), Flaminia (a wartime sex-for-food trade between victor and conquered) or In Love (an Indecent Proposal-style proposition). How Asher is suckered into the events of The End of Me are understandable, but the baseless cruelty of Michael and Aurora ("as though, from the beginning, [they'd] been collecting a dossier" (pg. 108)) is more confusing. Young people with their "terrible games" played on the older man, perhaps, like pulling the wings off flies, but such a depiction feels a tad shallow and isn't explored. Consequently, for the reader the book exists in a sort of haze, with Hayes' usual noirish coolness hardening into impenetrable ice rather than distilling into the chill that, in his better novels, can take your breath away.
… (mere)
 
Markeret
MikeFutcher | Dec 31, 2022 |
3.5, for the writing, for believable characters. Such a sad story, of a husband bored with his wife, who fishes a suicidal young woman out of the Pacific ocean, and goes on to begin an affair with her, almost as an afterthought. She is obviously mentally disturbed, but he keeps going to bed with her, encouraging her to believe that he cares for her. Then, when his wife writes that, as her dad has died, she feels a sudden urge to try to make things work with him again. Now, when he tells his little bed partner about it, Miss mental disorder lets all her demons out. Oh dear, poor man, having to deal with this!… (mere)
 
Markeret
burritapal | 6 andre anmeldelser | Oct 23, 2022 |
Het blijft vreemd dat dit korte verhaal zo lang (en nog altijd) onder de radar is gebleven. Ligt het aan de gecondenseerde vorm? Aan de lange, erg toneelmatig aandoende monoloog van een man van middelbare leeftijd over een vervlogen liefde? Of geraakt de gemiddelde lezer in de war door de subtiele en minder subtiele verschuivingen in het verhaal dat die man vertelt, waardoor er geleidelijk een ander licht komt op zowel de liefdesrelatie waarover hij het heeft, als de hoofdpersonages (hemzelf incluis)? Misschien, maar voor mij zijn dat net de sterke punten van deze korte roman.
Van in het begin voel je je in een ‘film noir’ uit de jaren ’40-’50 van de vorige eeuw, met een oudere man die een veel jongere vrouw aanspreekt aan de toog van een bar, inclusief de cocktails, en de opkringelende rookspiralen. Je kan je er zo Humphrey Bogart bij voorstellen. En dat beeld spoort dan onmiddellijk met die sonore stem die spreekt, van de man die de rest van het boek aan het woord blijft, zijn ontgoocheling in de liefde en het leven uitstortend in lange, verbitterde zinnen. Prachtig. En tegelijk ook briljant doordat Hayes erin geslaagd is dit verhaal uit te tillen boven een ordinair ‘blues’-verhaal. Want de vertellende protagonist blijkt niet zomaar een teleurgesteld man, integendeel, zijn monoloog verraadt hoe hij zelf als een onverbiddelijke hartenbreker in het leven stond, niet vies van manipulatie en zelfs geweld als het moest, zoals hij zelf zegt “het maximum” halend uit een relatie, en die vervolgens te dumpen. Met andere woorden is hier een heel ambigue macho-man aan het woord. En ook de andere, ogenschijnlijk passieve protagoniste, de eveneens ongenaamde vrouw waarmee hij een relatie had, blijkt gaandeweg toch met minstens evenveel ambiguïteit in het leven te staan. Hayes speelt hier op prachtige wijze met evoluerende karaktertekeningen, én met gender-stereotiepen die op dubbelhartige wijze doorbroken worden. Als je dit boekje dichtslaat, blijft een bittere nasmaak achter, van existentiële drama’s die reëel en tegelijk efemeer zijn, van desillusies en toch koppig voortdoen. Knap wat Alfred Hayes hier op goed 100 pagina’s gedaan heeft.
… (mere)
½
 
Markeret
bookomaniac | 4 andre anmeldelser | Aug 16, 2021 |

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Værker
17
Also by
5
Medlemmer
645
Popularitet
#39,135
Vurdering
3.9
Anmeldelser
20
ISBN
51
Sprog
8
Udvalgt
1

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