Copyright The Malta Historical Society, 2005.

Source: Melita Historica. [Published by the Malta Historical Society]. 5(1971)4(355-356)

ALBERT M. CASSOLA, "Novelli u Essays bil-Malti" St Joseph Press, Hamrun, 3s/-.

Albert M. Cassola is not only one of the best short story and essay writers we have, he is also one who never disappoints. His creative temperament, his original style, his explorations of analytical psychology, his sense of humour or, according to the circumstances, his descriptions of pathetic scenes and moving episodes, according to the subjects treated, the way with which he occasionally handles human sentiments, his courage in expression of views, have earned him coveted awards and much good fame in Malta and abroad.

In fact, the four admirable stories in the present volume range from the acute and humorous, like "Il-Baruni Marasuli" and "Id-Dmir" to the pathetic and poetic touch of "Rita" and the patriotic and fantastic Great Siege episode of Toni Bajada and his fellow swimmer warriors.

The 13 essays deal with St Francis of Assisi and the Beatles of Liverpool, journalists and journalism, the telephone, barbers, art and criticism, the Maltese language, honesty, bars and cafes, trees and a number of other subjects. Cassola's essays do not simply seek to enhance the reader's enjoyment, as he invariably does; he also discusses problems and occasionally seeks to argue the reader into shifting his angle of approach.

The charm and elegance of Cassola's essays and stories, written at various times, make the reader return to them again and again because they are written with verve and skill.

A. V.