Alligator Playground by Alan Sillitoe

By Alan Sillitoe

From one in all England’s maximum residing writers comes a suite of exquisitely shaped tales set in life’s nice playground.

Relationships – clandestine and legit – are the topic: boorish chaps and their stalwart ladies ululate and hum; marriages and infidelities tick-tock and tick over; Fitzrovian ardour flares; robust males flip to drink. Love, intercourse, loss, are captured in Mr Sillitoe’s inimitable style.

As good because the common subject matter of the union of the sexes, we've encouraged insights into delivery, boyhood, bereavement and aloneness in a suite of completely narrated observations, within which the reader participates in every one outstanding adventure.

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Sample text

Just how wide is this scoundrel’s path of destruction? And how do we deal with the damage he does to love? 47 5 the ego’s twisted agenda We’ve got the toad in stir. That nosy chaperone, that overzealous coach who inflicts his bad judgment on us—I’m calling him the ego. Am I on solid ground in doing so? We talk about people’s egos all the time. We say so-and-so has an inflated ego, and so he behaves badly. Someone else is lacking in the ego department. We may even have a dim sense that Freud said something on the topic.

So you want at least to set the record straight, before you retreat into silence. And you hope (even if you don’t admit it) that just maybe, this correction might heal the rift and bring your lover back. And I say, go for it. Communicate the relevant information to your other half. However, there’s a danger that this exception could, if interpreted too loosely, become the crack through which all the earlier good advice drains away. So I want to make it clear before going on, what I’m not saying here.

33 34 better love next time And now if you’ll indulge me in an English 101 moment, we’ll get a payoff that helps lift the ignominy of being the one who was left. The speaker in this poem is saying, in a wonderfully vivid way, that she who is about to be left has just as much right to break it off as her jilting partner has. He just gets there first; he’s quicker on the draw. But if time were to stop at the split second before he rejects her, and she knew what was coming, she would be able to clearly see that he is bad news in her life, that he brings her down, and that she should leave him.

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