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.

Friday, 18 January 2008

"The Sun book of short stories" (Transworld Publishers, 2007)

"To celebrate the launch of Quick Reads in 2006, The Sun ran a short story competition". 16 stories, each about 1250 words. I liked a few of them. With stories that short it's no surprize that they're plot-driven and that the first sentence or two can be the key to the plot. The 2nd story had an early decoy clue though, which threw me. The 3rd story, "Henry" deservedly won first prize. One story was in 3 parts, each in the first person voice of a family member, talking about the others. Too many of the other pieces concluded too obviously or unsatisfyingly (punchline too sudden, or pre-punchline material too uniform, or too heavy-handed in its misdirection). Sometimes the surprise ending was only possible because information had been (unfairly?) suppressed earlier.

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