Paradise: Faber Stories


Paradise Review: Does It Live Up to Its Name?

As avid readers, we’re always on the lookout for compelling short stories that leave a lasting impression. Recently, we turned the pages of “Paradise: Faber Stories” by Edna O’Brien, a succinct tale published by Faber & Faber. Our time with this literature was like peering through a window into an absorbing summer experience, albeit one lined with the complexities of social and age dynamics.

The narrative unfolds around a young woman joined by her affluent and older boyfriend, along with his high-society friends. Their summer is painted against a canvas of subtle tensions, lavish lifestyles, and personal discord all wrapped up in an 80-page journey. Despite the brevity of O’Brien’s work, it packs a punch in its portrayal of a character navigating through an opulent world that’s as dazzling as it is alienating.

However, some readers may find themselves yearning for more as the fleeting nature of the story might leave one wanting a deeper dive. With 102 reviews averaging a 3.8 rating, it’s clear that “Paradise” has charmed many but also left some feeling the narrative was too brief for full immersion.

Bottom Line

“Paradise: Faber Stories” stands out as a sharply observed, richly textured short work that promises to engage and provoke thought. It’s a quick read, but one that resonates beyond its final page.

For those who appreciate literature that encapsulates a snapshot of life with elegance and brevity, clicking here to purchase “Paradise: Faber Stories” might just be the perfect addition to your collection.

Overview of Paradise: Faber Stories

When we picked up “Paradise” from the Faber Stories collection, we were plunged into a narrative that captures attention from the first page. Written by the acclaimed author Edna O’Brien, this short story holds its own in a series celebrating the art of the short story. Without revealing spoilers, we can share that the work is laced with the complexities of love and belonging – a theme O’Brien navigates with precision and depth.

The piece is compact, yet it doesn’t compromise on emotional impact, making it perfect for a single, reflective sitting. Its compactness belies the weight of the content, and with over a hundred ratings, it’s clear that this piece has resonated with numerous readers. While we cannot ignore the occasional reader who may have hoped for something different, the overall consensus hints at satisfaction and an appreciation for O’Brien’s craft.

In short, this gem from Faber Stories invites us to explore a slice of literary paradise, replete with the human experience, condensed into a format that’s both accessible and profound.

Engaging Narrative Style

In our journey through “Paradise: Faber Stories,” we’re immersed into a compact narrative rich with underlying tensions between class and age. While exploring the pages, we observe the profound interactions between the young protagonist and her affluent environment, a dynamic that unfolds with subtlety and depth despite the brevity of the tale. It’s a swift read, indeed, wrapping up in under an hour, but don’t be mistaken; the economy of words doesn’t undermine its impact.

What strikes us is not just the story itself but how O’Brien manages to paint such a vivid picture in so few pages. The experience of reading it is akin to a fleeting but intensely memorable summer fling – quick to bloom and just as rapid to fade, leaving us to ponder over the intricacies of the relationships it portrayed. The narrative style is such that every sentence feels deliberate, and no word is wasted.

Although some may crave a longer stay in the world O’Brien crafts, the brevity also acts as its own statement—distilling the essence of the protagonist’s summer into a potent, thought-provoking snapshot. Through this narrative, we navigate the choppy waters of social standing and personal discovery, concluding as abruptly as it began, prompting a quiet reflection on the characters’ lives and our own.

Character Depth and Development

In our experience with “Paradise: Faber Stories,” we found character evolution to be a particularly compelling aspect. The narrative dives into the intricacies of a young woman’s journey as she spends her summer immersed in a world far removed from her own. The contrast between her and her affluent older boyfriend is palpable, not only highlighting their age gap but also the stark differences in their social standings.

One aspect that stood out to us was the protagonist’s subtle transformation as she navigates this new and opulent environment. While the story’s brevity may leave readers wanting more, the snapshot provided is rich with nuance. Each interaction she has seems to toy with the theme of belonging and alienation, giving us a peek into her evolving psyche.

Conversely, the short length of the tale—at most a one-hour read—could be seen as a downside for those who prefer a more extensive exploration of character growth. While the story captures moments of depth, the limited pages may not satisfy those looking for a deep dive into character development.

Impactful Themes

When we dived into “Paradise” by Edna O’Brien, it wasn’t just the narrative that held our attention—it was the powerful themes woven through the story. Imbalance of power was palpable, as we followed a young woman navigating the complexities of a relationship with her wealthy, older partner. The stark contrast between their worlds is thought-provoking.

However, it’s worth mentioning that some of us felt the brevity of the text left us wanting more—a mere hour’s read—a glimpse into the characters’ stories rather than a deep exploration. This left us with mixed feelings; the evocativeness of the themes kept us engaged, yet the short length might leave some readers unfulfilled, craving further development. Despite this, O’Brien’s incisive examination of class and power dynamics ensures the narrative packs a punch, presenting us with a rich tapestry of themes to consider well after turning the last page.

Pros and Cons


From our firsthand experience with “Paradise: Faber Stories,” we can confidently share that the narrative is immersive; it smoothly draws you into a tale of contrasting social worlds. The portrayal of a young woman navigating life amid affluence and age gaps is both poignant and telling, striking a chord with us as we internally debate the themes of class and relationship dynamics. The brevity of the book, surprisingly, serves its purpose well—they say good things come in small packages, and in this slim volume, every word Edna O’Brien writes seems carefully chosen to evoke the largest emotional response.

  • Engaging Narrative: Grabs your attention from the first page.
  • Thought-Provoking Themes: Invites reflection on societal and personal issues.


However, “Paradise” does have a few drawbacks that are worth considering. Its length is one — while succinctness can be powerful, some of us felt left wanting more from the story and a bit shortchanged. It’s akin to savoring a delicious appetizer and realizing there’s no main course to follow. Also, the brevity means that characterization and plot complexity are necessarily limited, so if you’re looking for an in-depth exploration that takes its time, this book might not meet your expectations.

  • Short Length: More of a fleeting read than a deep dive.
  • Limited Development: Characters and plot might feel underexplored for some.

Insight into Customer Reviews

From our recent dive into “Paradise: Faber Stories,” we’ve gathered a genuine feel for its narrative. The short story, crafted by Edna O’Brien, explores the complexities of a summer romance between a youthful protagonist and her wealthy, older companion. The contrast in their worlds is palpably detailed, creating an immersive experience for us within just a brief sitting.

We noticed a shared sentiment amongst readers; the novella’s brevity was a double-edged sword. While some of us appreciated the succinct, potent storytelling that wrapped up in under an hour, others were left craving more. This concise format is a masterful display of O’Brien’s skill to some, yet a drawback for those who prefer more extended literary engagements.

In summary, the mixed reviews emphasize the story’s richness and literary craftsmanship, alongside a wish for a longer journey with the characters. The rating of 3.8 reflects the balance of appreciation and the want of depth that we and other readers experienced.


In wrapping up our experience with “Paradise”, we’ve found it to be a thought-provoking tale, nestled within a compact narrative. The story, centered around a young woman navigating a complex relationship with her affluent, older partner, certainly sparks discussion about class and age dynamics. While some of us appreciated the brevity and depth packed into such a short read, others felt left wanting more—a sentiment that aligns with the feedback that the book can be completed in about an hour.

Despite its concise nature, “Paradise” doesn’t skimp on delivering a strong emotional impact. Our time spent leafing through its pages was met with a blend of introspection and critique. It’s a book that invites reflection long after the final page is turned. The 3.8-star rating based on 102 reviews echoes a consensus that, although not universally acclaimed, there’s a unique value in O’Brien’s storytelling worthy of attention.

Weighing the merits, “Paradise: Faber Stories” is for those who seek literary depth in a brief sitting. It may not satisfy readers yearning for a lengthy escape, yet its resonance is undoubted amongst those appreciative of succinct storytelling.