Helen Simpson knows that people are selfish and delusional, but the reason her short-story collections are such a pleasure to glide through is that she isn’t a jerk about it. She’s funny, shrewd, alternately wicked and warm — i.e., British. Global warming hangs over many of the stories in In-Flight Entertainment (not in an irritating way) and throws the characters’ self-important rushing around into sad comic relief. In the title story, for instance, an elderly man dies during a flight, causing an unscheduled landing — and our main character’s chief reaction is annoyance because he’s going to be late for a presentation in Chicago. The obvious irony is that he, like all of us, has even less time than he thinks. B+
SKY HIGH British author Helen Simpson releases a clever and colorful collection of short stories
Genre: Short Stories; Author: Helen Simpson; Status: In Season; Publisher: Knopf
Posted April 6 2012 — 12:00 AM EDT
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