EW Paperpicks for the week of April 10, 1992 -- ''Last Tales,'' ''Killer Diller,'' and other must reads

EW Paperpicks for the week of April 10, 1992

Last Tales Isak Dineson
These last tales by author of Out of Africa take you out past Kenya’s Ngong Hills into high gothic — sometimes fantastic — territory. ”Albondocani,” a section of an uncompleted novel, is murky and boring. But ”Echoes” is silky, psychologicaly persceptive, and as beautiful as Chopin. B

Killer Diller Clyde Edgerton
The author of Walking Across Egypt returns twith another tall one from the New South, the tale of one Wesley Benfield, a car thief who winds up in a rehabilitation program run by a Baptist college. Imagine a slightly better behaved Harry Crews in Oral Roberts territory and you get Edgerton’s fresh, funny drift. B+

The Big Sky A.B. Guthrie Jr.
Guthrie’s widely read novel tells the story of a young cowboy who teaches a wild mountain man the ways of the West — and comes to regret it. There is extraordinarily detailed life in this book, which gives you a sense of how it really felt to live in the Old West. A

A Parallel Life and Other Stories Robin Beeman
The novella that begins this collection (nine short stories are also included) recounts the experience of a woman practiced in casual adultery whose lover draws her into intimacies she never expected. The quietly astonishing perceptions that make it remarkable are evident everywhere. A

Typical American Gish Jen
Jen’s first novel supplies plenty of enchanting Chinese-American nuances amid the irresistible story of Ralph Chang, who arrives in New York from a small town near Shanghai in 1947. Jen’s characters are both thoroughly Chinese and universal in their quirky individuality. They keep you off guard, where a novel reader belongs. A-