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3 October 1985
Mr Palomar 
by Italo Calvino, translated by William Weaver.
Secker, 118 pp., £8.50, September 1985, 0 436 08275 6
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Parrot’s Perch 
by Michel Rio, translated by Leigh Hafrey.
Dent, 88 pp., £7.95, September 1985, 0 460 04669 1
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Light Years 
by Maggie Gee.
Faber, 350 pp., £9.95, September 1985, 0 571 13604 4
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... with a view to undoing our fascination with pain. But doesn’t the fascination remain in the collection itself, isn’t the gathering ‘stained with a secret complicity’? The characters in MaggieGee’s Light Years keep going to London Zoo as a refuge from human mess or human coldness. But the animals are too tame and nearly human themselves – too far from the wild to be anything other ...

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