Ring Lardner – Out of breath

Breath of emptiness

The characters of this collection of short stories act in the glorious America of the 30s between New York and Chicago. They all belong to the middle and high bourgeoisie: they are cynical, empty, more interested in money and in appearances than in personal relations.
The author analyses this series of characters with kind cynicism and a good dose of irony.
The reader can identify his neighbor, his colleague or even himself in the stories’ characters. No one is exempt to the inevitable comparison with this stories’ actors; moreover, our self-esteem is shut down by the pleasantness the author uses to make us laugh at them.
This is a pleasantly caustic and merciless collection.

Translation by Francesca Pietroboni (edited by Sabrina Macchi)