His men in particular are often people who can’t trust anyone, not even themselves. And when he writes about men in a quasi-autobiographical way (as he does more often in the earlier fiction) he can seem to betray himself, not in the sense of giving his true self away, but the reverse. He tends to present experiences close to his own life through an irony so thick that it could serve in the place of the traditional disclaimer that ‘Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.’
The twin “Irish weaknesses,” as Moore has it, of drink and self-deceit make Uncle T not only piquant and brutal reading, but also a lovely reminder of the force Moore achieved in his novels despite the understated style. There are a couple of very uncharacteristic stories. Fly Away Finger, Fly Away Thumb, the earliest story here, is a horror story complete with framing device. And the last story, Preliminary Pages for a Work of Revenge, is daring and strange, with a false ending and playful form.