Newest Short Stories Reviews

From TheBookbag
Jump to: navigation, search


Going To The Last: Short Stories About Horse Racing by K D Knight

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Short Stories

In the opening story a man whose wife has deserted him visits Sandown with little money, but comes away with cash in his pocket - and his wife. In A Grey Day an owner struggles with the problem of whether or not to run his horse in the Gold Cup when the ground is against him. My favourite was The Story of H, the story of Foinavon. H is depicted as a kind horse who only wanted to please people. After changing hands on various occasions he came to the yard of John Kempton. H (or Foinavon) was entered in the Grand National and considered a no-hoper. In one of the most dramatic runnings of the race, a pile up occured at the 23rd fence. Foinavon, who had been many lengths adrift, cleared the fence and galloped to the line, winning the race at odds of 100/1. Full Review


Hell's Unveiling by Laura Solomon

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Short Stories, General Fiction, Fantasy

A little while ago I really enjoyed Marsha's Deal and I was delighted by the opportunity to read the sequel, Hell's Unveiling. It's probably not much of a spoiler to say that Marsha bested the devil in Marsha's Deal, but the devil is not one to take defeat lying down. He's out to wage war on Planet Earth and particularly on Marsha (who's thought of as a 'goody two shoes' in Hell). Although a strong person, she's vulnerable where her foster children are concerned. Daniel is framed for a crime he didn't commit and sent to juvenile detention and refused permission to return to live with Marsha. Then, of course there are all the other children who are not only targeted, but - worst of all - subverted to the devil's evil ends. He's out to prey on their fears and weaknesses and as with many foster children, their self esteem is very fragile. This is no small-scale operation, either - the devil has set up a training complex on earth, complete with an elevator to Hell. Full Review


Marsha's Deal by Laura Solomon

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Short Stories, General Fiction, Fantasy

Marsha didn't have an easy ride in life the first time around. She'd been afflicted with fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, a rare disease which turned parts of her body to bone when they were damaged. Finally she was unable to stand her life any longer and went to Dignitas, the Swiss euthanasia clinic. She'd thought that would be the end, but after cremation her body went straight to hell and she found herself face-to-face with the devil. And that was when she made the pact. In exchange for details about some of those who had been close to her - their strengths and weaknesses - she would be reborn on the same day to the same parents, but would live her life free of disease. Full Review


Roses in December by Matthew de Lacey Davidson

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Short Stories

Roses in December is a collection of twenty-two short stories. And when I say short, I mean short, with each just a few pages long and some brushing the flash fiction genre, such is the brevity. I think the shorter the story, the harder it is to write and the more difficult the task of engaging, then satisfying, the reader. So it is to the immense credit of Matthew de Lacey Davidson that I sighed in appreciation many times while reading. He has a good sense of which moments of the human experience to capture in order to make the point he wants to make. Some highlights: Full Review

Onymouse Quick.jpg

Quick and Quirky: Short Stories with Quips! by Fred Onymouse and Ann Onymouse

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Short Stories

Quick, and indeed, quirky, are positive attributes, I'm sure you'd agree – apart from perhaps in surgeons. I like things that have a quirk, and I approve of the quicky. I've been dabbling in the world of creative writing for a few years now, and whenever anyone asks what it is I mostly write, I define it with the catch-all safety net of flippant. So this book should be right up my street, being as it is a bijou selection of illustrated and fairly large-print short stories. Full Review

Hill Strange.jpg

Strange Weather by Joe Hill

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Horror, Fantasy, General Fiction

Strange Weather is a collection of four short novels all linked by, unsurprisingly, strange and cataclysmic weather. Each novel is distinct and showcases Hill's restrained yet vivid style which takes everyday events and makes them bitingly, acerbically macabre or blindingly beautiful, often switching from one sentence to the next. As Hill himself says the beauty of the world and the horror of the world were twined together, never is this truer than in Strange Weather where moments of abject horror are coupled with raw beauty. Full Review

Stibbe Xmas.jpg

An Almost Perfect Christmas by Nina Stibbe

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Humour, Short Stories

Christmas – the time of traditional trauma. You only have to think about the turkey for that – once upon a time it was leaving it sat on the downstairs loo to defrost overnight, and if that failed the hair-dryer shoved inside it treatment was your next best bet. Nowadays it's all having to make sure it's suitably free-range and organic – but not too organic that you can go and visit it, and get too friendly with it to want to eat it. Christmas, though, is of course also a time of great boons. It's cash in hand for a lot of plump people who can hire red suits and beards, it was always a godsend for postmen with all the thank-you letters to aunties you saw twice a decade that your parents made you write out in long-hand as a child, and as for the makers of Meltis Newberry Fruits – well, did they even try and sell them any other time of the year? Full Review

Dick Electric.jpg

Philip K Dick's Electric Dreams by Philip K Dick

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Science Fiction, Short Stories

Philip K Dick's stories were originally published in the 50s, but they are more present than past. On the big screen Blade Runner 2049 relaunched the Dick-inspired cult classic to reviews of pure praise; and on slightly smaller screens, Channel 4 has adapted the author's short stories for TV. Startlingly, Dick's current relevance reaches beyond fiction and into the factual: his topics from intrusive advertising and loss of privacy to the increasing machination of society are all headline material in today's news. It is as if half a century after their inception, Dick's electric dreams are becoming reality. Full Review

Mettler 15.jpg

Fifteen Minutes by Erinna Mettler

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Short Stories

Our world is obsessed with celebrity culture - and in this advent of social media, the updates on celebrity come 24 hours a day, delivered to us on our televisions, our magazines, on our phones and our computers. In focusing on these heightened and airbrushed lives though, are we missing the more interesting and human stories that are out there? That's what Erinna Mettler considers in 15 Minutes - short stories that feature celebrity encounters told through the eyes of ordinary, but no less compelling, characters. Full Review

Hodgkinson Dark.jpg

The Dark-Blue Winter Overcoat and other stories from the North by Sjon Hodgkinson and Ten Hodgkinson (editors)

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Anthologies, Literary Fiction, Short Stories

A compilation like this should be nigh on brilliant. It's not one author's best short works, it's that of a dozen. It's not from one snapshot in time, as some were written the year of publication and some in the 1960s. It's not from one tiny patch of author's desk or one set of laptop keys, but from the entire Nordic world, whether that be urban Scandinavia, the Faroes and other island groups, or Greenland. That is a world that's changing – as the Greenland-born author now living in Brooklyn, and the Iraqi blood on these pages, testify. It's a world where new roads and new building works mean a family living on the edge of the forest at the beginning of the story are being surrounded by other life by the end, and with the influence of centuries of folklore featured, a lot more than that changes – sometimes it seems to be even the characters' species… Full Review

Solomon Taking.jpg

Taking Wainui by Laura Solomon

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews General Fiction, Short Stories

This is the first time I have come across Laura Solomon's work, a New Zealand writer who has won writing prizes for both her fiction and poetry. Although this book appears to be a collection of short stories, I found its format somewhat confusing. Full Review

Steven Winter.jpg

Winter Tales by Kenneth Steven

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Short Stories

Upon opening this book you are presented with an eclectic collection of twelve short stories centred around a common theme of Winter. You are taken around the world as you read stories set in a variety of places from Helsinki to New York, Germany to Russia. Kenneth Steven cleverly utilises a key component of short stories - that you can read each story in one sitting - to his advantage as he gives each story an individual focal subject, such as bullying, ensuring that you are reading a distinct story every time you open the book. Full Review

Dahl Fear.jpg

Fear by Roald Dahl

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Short Stories

Do you enjoy being scared? Featuring fourteen classic spine-chilling stories chosen by Roald Dahl, these terrible tales of ghostly goings-on will have you shivering with fear as you turn the pages. Full Review

Dahl War.jpg

War by Roald Dahl

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Short Stories, Autobiography

In war, are we at our heroic best or our cowardly worst? Featuring the autobiographical stories from Roald Dahl's time as a fighter pilot in the Second World War as well as seven other tales of conflict and strife, Dahl reveals the human side of our most inhumane activity. Full Review

Dahl Trickery.jpg

===[[Trickery by Roald Dahl ]]===

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Short Stories

How underhand could you be to get what you want? In these ten tales of dark and twisted trickery Roald Dahl reveals that we are at our smartest and most cunning when we set out to deceive others - and, sometimes, even ourselves. Here, among others, you'll read of the married couple and the parting gift which rocks their marriage, the light fingered hitch-hiker and the grateful motorist, and discover why the serious poacher keeps a few sleeping pills in his arsenal. [[Trickery by Roald Dahl

Full Review]]

Dahl Innocence.jpg

Innocence by Roald Dahl

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Short Stories

What makes us innocent and how do we come to lose it? Featuring the autobiographical stories telling of Roald Dahl's boyhood and youth as well as four further tales of innocence betrayed, Dahl touches on the joys and horrors of growing up. Among other stories, you'll read about the wager that destroys a girl's faith in her father, the landlady who has plans for her unsuspecting young guest and the commuter who is horrified to discover that a fellow passenger once bullied him at school. Full Review

Hershman Some.jpg

Some of Us Glow More Than Others by Tania Hershman

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Short Stories

I won't be alone in stating that reading short story collections can be slightly awkward. Going through from A-Z, witnessing a bounty of ideas and characters in short order can be too much, but do you have the right to pick and choose according to what appeals, and what time you have to fill? The sequence has carefully been considered, surely. Such would appear to be the case here. The last time I read one of this author's collections, with The White Road, the only real difficulty was holding back and rationing them, but here you not only get a whopping forty pieces of writing, they are also spread into sections. Full Review

Kelman Shiver.jpg

That Was a Shiver, and Other Stories by James Kelman

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Short Stories

This is the ninth book of short stories by this author, which means he's presented just as many collections of the short form as he has novels. You will find it hard to think of another author that has been so noted for longer works (what with How Late It Was, How Late winning the Booker) but who is so generous in presenting shorter pieces for the time-poor, or those like me who see the variety in a writer's short or less typical works to be the more interesting places to turn. Opening these pages, from the pen of such an esteemed pro, came with no small sense of anticipation. Full Review

VA Change.jpg

A Change Is Gonna Come by Various Authors

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Teens, Short Stories

A Change Is Gonna Come is an anthology of stories and poems interpreting the theme of change by twelve BAME writers. It's Stripes Publishing's response to the under-representation of BAME authors in the UK. And it's a great response. I loved it. Full Review

Stancey Madonna.jpg

The Madonna of the Pool by Helen Stancey

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Short Stories

In most short story collections, an overarching theme is usually present in each of the narratives which help each story gently flow in to the next. In this debut collection Helen Stancey explores the quiet disappointments, achievements, and complications that each of us experience through everyday life. She draws attention to the small events and decisions that can both disrupt and significantly alter the lives of others and ourselves, all while maintaining a delicately poetic tone throughout. Full Review

Walsh Worlds.jpg

Worlds from the Word's End by Joanna Walsh

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Short Stories

We here at The Bookbag liked this author's fairly recent collection of short stories, Vertigo. I myself missed out, but that seemed to be vignettes from one character's narration – here we get homosexual male narrators and a host more, as well as much less of the sadness prevalent before. Having had a brief encounter with this author courtesy of her entry into the Object Lessons series, I was intrigued by her name being stamped on a selection of shorts. Was it the ideal calling card? Let's face it, the very short story itself can be a postcard – let's say, from a specific hotel or two, as we see here. Perhaps I should have geared myself up, however, for such intricate writing on said postcards – and for the exotic locations from which they came… Full Review