Loneliness that Haunts

Excerpted from May This House Be Safe From Tigers, ©1959, by Alexander King:

I find it very difficult to make any new friendships, mostly because the people I run into nowadays are full of imbecile ideas which tend to upset me. I’m too old and too busy with my own affairs to spend precious time explaining the error of their ways to a lot of guppies that fate has accidentally dumped into my corner of the aquarium…

I have to stick to my old friends and I’m afraid they are equally stuck with me. It isn’t that we decry the modern age and its works, we just happen to know where it really gets off. We don’t believe that a lot of pointless running around and having a life full of trivial gadgets is going to appease the loneliness and the restlessness that haunts the human heart today.

This book is troublesome.

Alexander King makes many witty and insightful points, but this is also the most homophobic book I’ve ever read.  It’s not just the occasional antiquated joke about “fairies” or “swishes,” there are hateful chapter-long rants against homosexuals.

I wish a judicious editor would excise those parts to make it acceptable for a modern audience, but unless that I happens I can’t really recommend this book.

And that’s a shame.


  1. I understand your point.

    My thinking was that nobody is going to read his books in their present form. I’d hate to throw away the good things because I can’t get past the bad things.


  2. markonit

    …wouldn’t that take away from the creative license of the author..? If you cannot submerge yourself in the time that it was written, I don’t think that you should edit it… I find it troubling that we are “editing” history by telling stories of the past and projecting a modern imprint on it… but the same could be said of the whitewashing of world history… *sigh*


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