Literary reviews by Tim Love.
Warning: Rather than reviews, these are often notes in preparation for reviews that were never finished, or pleas for help with understanding pieces. See Litref Reviews - a rationale for details.

Monday, 21 July 2003

"Secrets and other stories" by Bernard Mac Laverty (Vintage, 1997)

The characters may not be culturally diverse, but the stories have variety, parameters including length (3 to 21 pages), how plot- or character-driven they are, how invasive the narrator is, how much visual detail about the characters is provided, and how intelligent/literate the main character is. The most common story structure is an alternation between remembrance and observation - for example the main character in 'Between Two Shores' thinks back to his wife and lover while drinking on a night-ferry, watching women. Several of the main characters think about a friend or relative who has recently died. "St Paul Could Hit the Nail on the Head" is my favorite because of the amount of revealing description. I wasn't so keen on the 3-4 page pieces, and towards the end of the book the stories fade.

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