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From: Peter Westlake <peter@harlequin.co.uk>
Subject: Re: (urth) Re: Kevin Malone
Date: Sat, 27 Feb 1999 15:48:37 +0000

At 10:18 1999-02-25 +0000, Tony wrote:
>Roy wrote:
>>  I just finished re-re-reading "Kevin Malone", from _Endangered_Species_.
>A gem of a story, which I've often re-read purely for the pleasure of doing so.
>And I have no intention of spoiling it for you or for anyone else, but here are a
>couple of hints:
>> What I would like to know is: who did what to whom, and why? Is KM a ghost,
>> or just what he purports to be?
>He's neither.
>>     What relationship did the murder victim have to KM? Neither KM nor
>> Priest actually refer to her as KM's mother. The incident is related in
>> response to a query about KM going to an orphanage. And what are we to make
>> of the narrator's parting hunch that both murderer and victim being named
>> Malone may be coincidental? Answers anyone?
>There -is- no relationship between Kevin and Betty Malone. Once you understand
>that it all falls into place: Kevin Malone -thinks- Betty Malone and the elder Mr
>Malone were married, -thinks- that he was their child in the lost Eden of the
>house in its heyday. But if the names are just coincidental, and there -was- no
>child, that cuts his whole fantasy off at the root. In which case, where -do- his
>childhood memories of the big house come from? And the longing to recreate that
>lost world which has driven his whole life?
>Think about that, and think about the narrator wondering in the very last line of
>the story, if it might be possible "for a man, even a very rich man, to be
>posessed and not to know it."

I've read this story more than once, and had very little recollection of it.
This discussion prompted me to read it again, and it's as though I was reading
it for the first time. Everything is suddenly crystal clear - though I shall
check with Tony to see that I've got it right! If so, then I think it's quite
clear-cut, too, not like some other stories we've talked about here ...

Roy, Tony - thank you!


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