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Small Crimes in an Age of Abundance

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A well-intentioned English family unwittingly becomes complicit in state violence while traveling through China. A ploddingly respectable London lawyer chances upon a stash of cocaine and realizes it offers the wealth and status he's always hungered for. A salesman in Africa gets caught up in a riot, and a Palestinian suicide bomber has a moment of self-doubt. Kneale transports readers across continents in a nanosecond, reaching to the heart of faraway societies with rare perceptiveness. With wry humor and razor-sharp satire, these twelve thought-provoking stories illuminate the moral uncertainty of our time.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Jan 10, 2005 – Kneale, author of the Whitbread-winning English Passengers, reaches all over the world for these 12 tales, with mixed results. The global economy's power imbalance is the general theme; Kneale shows how the peoples of the world, though inevitably interrelated, often remain sorely ignorant of (or indifferent to) each other. He drops his characters into faraway lands, exposing them to foreign cultures and thereby forcing them to examine their own ways of life. Sometimes the comparison brings horror, as in "Stone," in which a well-meaning English family traveling through China run smack into the harsh laws of a small town and become unintentionally complicit in the ruthless punishment of a man they think has robbed them. Other times the comparison brings shame, as in "Metal," in which a British arms salesman in an unnamed African country gets caught up in a riot that makes him vow to change his life. The shifts in setting give the book energy, but this is slightly undermined by the sameness of the prose and similarities among the characters. Kneale saves his best for last, though. "White" follows a Palestinian suicide bomber as he makes his way toward Tel Aviv, an explosive device strapped to his chest, his mind racing with doubt. This final, highly charged story leaves a lasting impression.
Small Crimes in an Age of Abundance
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: Mar 15, 2005
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 224 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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