Michael Collins's stories are about Ireland, about the Irish as they are and as they would like to be imagined. In the title story we see the fatal consequences of self-deception. Posing as a nationalist hero, a young man travels to America with a suitcase full of meat. The warm welcome he expects swiftly dematerialises as he awakes to the grim realities of life in hiding. The vivid, surreal splendour of the writing allied with images of real people - the struggling widow, the careless father, the schoolboy and the philosopher, the good and the corrupt - make this an outstanding collection.