I very much enjoyed Any Human Heart, so was keen to read this, though I don’t usually seek out short stories. The stories are varied, fascinating, frustrating, and satisfyingly unsatisfying! Each story seems to lay bare our foibles as the characters thrash about, trying to make their paths smooth.
I read My Name is Lucy Barton last year and found it a beautiful story. Anything is Possible is a companion book, in which Lucy features. It is, essentially, connected short stories about people in the small town Lucy Barton grew up in. It’s about strength of character, loneliness, loss, hope and the endlessly bizarre turns life and people can take. It’s sad, sweet, puzzling, complex and hopeful; I enjoyed it very much.
Dubliners is a series of short stories, set in Dublin in the early 1900s. There isn’t a great deal of plot; it is a snapshot of the lives of different people across the city. Lives filled with love, frustration, contentment, rage, drunkenness, hope, loneliness, lust and despair. They are a little bleak, but beautifully so.
The View from the Cheap Seats is a collection of Neil Gaiman’s writing, all of it non-fiction. From his brilliant speech on the importance of libraries, reading and daydreaming to thoughts on music, film and writing, it’s like a long conversation, about a huge range of topics. There’s a lot of passion in this book; for people, for science fiction, for dreams and art. It’s a great read.
Four and a half stars for this beautiful novel, told in a series of short stories with different characters, set in a small, coastal town in Maine. Olive Kitteridge is a large, forthright, retired teacher, struggling to make sense of her marriage, her relationship with her son and the changes as she grows older. I loved her as a character, prickly, compassionate, patient and explosive all at once; perceptive when it comes to the lives of others, confounded about her close relationships. The setting is beautifully evoked, the characters ring so true, full of hope, despair, brokenness, kindness, confusion, malice and love. A short book that will stay with me for a long time. #bookface
AWESOME! FANTABULOUS!! BRILLIANTIC!
If you are a Roald Dahl fan then try this book. Lots of juicy new words, strange creatures and awkward situations for the main characters in these 14 short stories by Terry Pratchett, complete with drawings by Mark Beech. Tiny people making a dangerous journey across your loungeroom carpet; whole worlds on dust specks with royal explorers travelling between other dust worlds in winged boats; and buses travelling through time… Continue reading
Duped by a book blurb once again! If you were originally looking for a macabre modern fairytale to suit your reader’s palette you will be disappointed. The connections to fairytales are in the title, the author’s inspiration and the reader’s knowledge of the Grimm brother’s tales. Albeit not to my taste, the book is a must read. I much prefer fantasy fiction to the realities penned in contemporary fiction so this book tore me apart…. which is the sign of a good author! Continue reading
I don’t, generally, seek out short stories, I am much more comfortable with a novel, but having loved all the Neil Gaiman novels I have read, I wanted to give this collection a go. I wasn’t disappointed. Clever, magical, melancholy, sparkling, dark, wonderous and spooky (particularly when I came to The Thin White Duke the day after we heard David Bowie died), I very much enjoyed these stories.
Grand Central Terminal in New York is teeming with people, each with their own story. This collection of stories by multiple authors capture just some of those stories on a day after World War II has finished. Each one is different, some sad, others happy. I really enjoyed the concept of this book and the little touches that overlap in the stories. I have discovered some authors to add to my reading list.