|About the Book|
The Triple Echo was the last novella that Bates wrote, although he later noted that he had actually begun working on it in 1943 and didn’t finish it until 1968 because during all that time he had been inhibited and unable to complete the task by whatMoreThe Triple Echo was the last novella that Bates wrote, although he later noted that he had actually begun working on it in 1943 and didn’t finish it until 1968 because during all that time he had been inhibited and unable to complete the task by what proved to be the handicap of a superfluous character. Once this was discovered and removed, the story was quickly finished. In the event it proved to be one of the best novellas Bates ever produced, a classic piece of writing- a skilful blend of plot, characterisation and atmosphere. The story is set in the early 1940s, during World War II. Alice Charlesworth, the lonely wife of a war prisoner living on an isolated farmstead, encounters young Barton, a farm boy-turned (reluctant) conscripted soldier out of his depth in his military role. Barton decides not to return to camp and deliberately deserts- and he dresses as Alice’s sister to avoid detection while hiding at her farm. Alas, two soldiers intrude, a sergeant takes a shine to Alice’s sister, and, when Barton (such a silly young man to have done so) goes off to a dance with him, exposure and the consequent tragic finale begin to appear inevitable. A film of The Triple Echo, starring Oliver Reed and Glenda Jackson, premiered in Nov 1972.The novella first appeared in the Daily Telegraph magazine in December 1969, and, as well as being published as a separate book in hardback and paperback, it appeared in The Best of H. E. Bates.