Vogel, a scheming, manipulative man, hires an illegal alien, Amenth, to work in his machine shop, and finds him not only clever, but a real alien. And a convict.
Good characterizations, and an imaginative ending; the descriptions are good too.
These are essays on painting, writing and drama, mostly the latter two. The Decay of Lying mourns the rise of realism, and the loss of characters who speak as people should speak, not as they do. Wilde believes Life imitates Art, so that if the art is written or painted well enough, Nature will imitate it.
The essays are set up as dialogues, and illustrate his theory, in that the conversational exchanges are extended monologues, with Greek, Latin, and French larded in amidst the fulsome descriptive passages. No one spoke that way.
Pen, Pencil and Poison deals with Wilde's fascination with a mediocre writer and talented poisoner.
The Critic as Artist asserts that criticism of Art is a greater art form than the original work, a theory any University English professor accepts as fact, if only secretly.
The Truth of Masks explains how important costume and historical accuracy were in the plays of Shakespeare.
These are essays that will probably only interest the readers of essays. If you are looking for reportage or witty exchanges, look elsewhere: these ain't got them.
Maxwell's Demons, that is. Satirical story of an almost competent scientist who manages to create and nearly control small molecules that can selectively filter gold from water, etc. Except the things can replicate.
Good story of an experiment gone wrong.
A rather thin story for compound-interest fans. It is presented as a history lecture to future students. I suppose the main character is the lecturer--he\'s a bit pedantic.
Bank fees make the whole premise impossible.