Tag: literary reviews

A Swim in a Pond in the Rain by George Saunders

George Saunders, lauded for his short stories and winner of the 2017 Man Booker Prize for Lincoln in the Bardo, has been a teacher on the Syracuse University MFA creative writing program since 1997. This book is based on one of his Syracuse courses on Russian literature. A Swim in a Pond includes seven classic

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Afterlives by Abdulrazak Gurnah

Informative and necessary, Abdulrazak Gurnah uses stripped back prose to tell the stories of Hamza, Ilyas and Afiya in his insightful new novel, Afterlives. It’s a satisfying linear tale, and one that doesn’t need any literary embellishments to bring the narrative to life. Gurnah takes us through the lives of his characters in a simple, effective

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The BBC National Short Story Award 2020 by Various

What a feast of delights awaits us the reader in this years BBC National Short Story Award 2020 from Comma Press – I’m a huge fan of this series as I’m a huge fan of the short story form and well this year we are treated to some great voices, some old and some new

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This Alone Could Save Us by Santino Prinzi

This Along Could Save Us is a flash fiction collection of 51, yes 51 short pieces of flash. The book is a real quick read and works as a great palate cleanser between larger books, the stories aren’t very deep but are enjoyable with the flow of Prinzi’s prose, but for me, the collection was

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Whispers in the Dark by Laurel Hightower

Whispers in the Dark by Laurel Hightower is pretty damn good, actually it’s pretty stunning – and to think this was her debut, bloody hell! Fierce storytelling, prose to die for, and a story that is achingly brutal; whilst also populated by characters that are really relatable, even the secondary cast of characters – all

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Salt Blood by T.C. Parker

T.C. Parker delivers the creeping unease of past masters with a story that is as beguiling as it is terrifying – Salt Blood is a story that keeps on giving from the very first page! Salt Blood is an interesting concept for a book and one that seems far removed from the brooding cover (although

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Beneath the Trees of Eden by Tim Binding

Animalistic, thrilling, and intense, Tim Binding’s Beneath the Trees of Eden contains a plethora of beautiful and complicated relationships, set against the real and raw portrayal of death. Our characters skirt the fringes of society and live on their own terms – but at what cost? Binding challenges us to reconsider what ‘Eden’ really is,

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Little Paranoias by Sonora Taylor

Little Paranoias is a short story collection form horror author Sonora Taylor, a collection that is gripping, original and bang on the money for those that prefer the dark slice of horror. What I loved about the collection is that it is a mixture of short stories and flash fiction and this device that is

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The Devil All The Time by Donald Ray Pollock

‘Some people were born just so they could be buried.’ The Devil All The Time is a sprawling, gritty, powerhouse of a book that follows the lives of a handful of characters as they fight to survive in the town of Knockemstiff and the surrounding towns of Ohio and West Virginia. The opening of this

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Greensmith by Aliya Whiteley

Penelope Greensmith, a divorced, cardigan-wearing, lonely bio-librarian, is responsible for a vast seed bank made possible by the mysterious Vice she inherited from her father. One day she receives an unexpected visitor: the charming Horticulturalist, who wants to see her collection. He thinks it could hold the key to stopping a terrible plague, which turns

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