James Walt

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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 153

An author of poems, essays and novels sufficient in number and quality to establish him as a man of letters, Cayrol isn't above playing Scheherazade and writing a suspense tale [Kakemono Hôtel]. He is a novelist of place, in love with the dank, misty, rainy Normandy coast which Flaubert and De Maupassant also loved, and fascinated by the tragedy of people who stumble from mischance to mischance in following their illusions….

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Judged by its plot and its improbabilities, Kakemono Hôtel is closer to Poe than to Flaubert or Maupassant. But the atmosphere Cayrol creates is the work of a delicate observer grounded in the methods of the realistic school, and he writes with a simplicity Poe would have rejected. Kakemono Hôtel is an altogether "happy" addition to the genre of the suspense novel. (pp. 269-70)

James Walt, in Books Abroad (copyright 1975 by the University of Oklahoma Press), Vol. 49, No. 2, Spring, 1975.

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