The Shout and Other Stories

Robert Graves

Penguin 1978
A book review by Danny Yee © 1993
The Shout and Other Stories is a collection of thirty short stories spanning the whole of Robert Graves' career. They are split into three groups — English Stories, Roman Tales and Majorcan Stories. The settings of the stories in the first range from descriptions of life at a boarding school in "The Treacle Tart" and "The Abominable Mr Graves" to the war story "Christmas Truce". Many of the stories have a sort of "supernatural" flavour, though none are actually ghost or horror tales.

The three Roman tales will be appreciated by fans of I, Claudius, and were my favourites among the collection: "Epics are out of Fashion" is an account of the relationship between Nero, Lucan and Petronius; "The Tenement: A Vision of Imperial Rome" paints a vivid picture of the seedier side of life in Rome; and "The Myconian" is an account of a Greek philosopher's attendance at a chariot race during a visit to Rome. The Majorcan tales are based on Graves' life in Majorca. The mild supernatural/mystery tone continues in many of them, but it is the peculiarities and details of Majorcan customs and people that provide the interest.

This collection was enough to convince me that Robert Graves is as fine a writer of short stories as he is a novelist. Those who enjoyed his historical novels will not be disappointed, and neither will anyone who enjoys well-crafted short stories.

July 1993

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%T The Shout and Other Stories
%A Graves, Robert
%I Penguin
%D 1978 [1968]
%O paperback
%G ISBN 0140048324
%P 300pp