Monday, February 22, 2010

"The Hour of Letdown." EB White.

One-minute review: A man comes into the bar with a machine and puts it on the bar and asks for two rye and waters, one for the man and the other for the machine. The machine is a mechanical brain. It has just won a chess match and earned five thousand dollars. The machine is tired and wants a drink. The bartender doesn’t want to serve no drinks to no machine. The machine demonstrates its powers by multiplying large sums that take many minutes for people to verify and by correcting everybody’s English in the bar and the bartender becomes even more surly. Finally, a man who sides with the man and his machine says, “Let’s get out of here and go to a nice place.” They leave. The car they are driving is a Cadillac. Guess who’s driving?

75 Short Masterpieces: Stories from the World’s Literature. Ed. Roger B. Goodman. New York: Bantam Books. 1961. These summaries do not do justice to the vividness of the stories. RayS.

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