In The Absence Of Bats

A collection of 14 short stories by L V Latham

Front cover of 'In The Absence Of Bats' by Laurence Latham.Inspired by a life in the West Country, this collection of stories embellishes some of the many and diverse idiosyncrasies which we have surely all encountered on the journey from infancy to adulthood.

The mode of expression is decidedly individual, personalities and circumstances being portrayed in a style that garnishes humour with a sprig of eccentricity.

You may find the flavour of your own memories of cosier, quieter times enhanced as a result.

One Man Meant to Mow
The problems associated with French translation in the classroom are eclipsed by those occurring out on the playing fields when an inexperienced member of staff attempts to operate the petrol driven mower.

Woodworm and Whisky
A lack of physical coordination leads to the narrator being sent out on an errand for which he is undoubtedly not yet qualified.

Cedric and the Slippery Shoes
Young Cedric exaggerates the deficiency of his footwear when a school walk encounters snow, causing problems quite disproportionate to the situation.

The Collector’s Round
A money collector and a pub landlord find themselves engaged in a psychological battle because of a supposedly malfunctioning jukebox.

Hard Bargain
With others seemingly amassing fortunes, the writer experiences the exasperations of the sale room while in search of the most modest of profits.

Driven to Distraction
From both early observation and experience, Henry learns that motoring can offer problems as well as pleasures.

Primary and Other Colours
Combining the viewpoint of a child with the hindsight of adulthood, a stretch of life’s rocky road is pondered from the first suggestion of school to the worries associated with paper hats.

Cueing Within Tent
Within the confines of an institution, attempts are made to limit the amount of conflict generated by frivolous behaviour between a rather young resident and a less than acquiescent charge nurse.

A Sign of Trouble
When the girl depicted on a standard school warning sign outside a boys’ educational establishment causes a degree of disquiet, two members of staff decide to take matters into their own hands.

Three Great Aunts and a Garden Roller
Sent to the country to spend a holiday in the company of elderly relatives, Henry’s efforts to create his own entertainment prove more than a little disruptive.

Whine and Cheese
At a small supermarket, the idiosyncrasies of the local customers range from a desire for fatty bacon to fear of a measuring device housed beneath the wine counter.

Patient Wisdom
Stuart Ambrose escapes summons to a children’s hospital until nearly twenty-seven years of age. Although then able to reflect on his experience as a dental patient, he realizes he has none at all when it comes to procedures on the ward.

Almost Out of Time
Circumstances conspire to propel the storyteller into a somewhat eccentric household of cat fleas and gas lamps while he is still at a fairly impressionable age.

The Long Sentence
A misdemeanour by the narrator as an infant causes a long-standing social problem in the minds of his family. Events are unfolded using a mixture of childish and adult perceptions.

Description: 152 pages pbk (18cm x 11cm)
Published: 2003
Author: L V Latham
ISBN: 0 9512165 1 1
Price: £5.99
Available from: Brendon Books, Taunton