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Don't Tell Me The Truth About Love [Paperback]

Dan Rhodes
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Book Description

14 Feb 2005
A chance encounter prompts an ageing professor to regret a lifetime of wasted opportunities; a beautiful wife tests her husband by making herself hideous; for the love of a girl, a boy turns himself into a violoncello. Funny, magical and strange, in these seven short stories Dan Rhodes lays bare the pain and enchantment of love.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books; Main edition (14 Feb 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841956139
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841956138
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 424,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

With this new collection of short stories, Dan Rhodes keeps as his subject the intricacies and deficiencies of desire, but his methods have changed. At some junctures he appears to be aiming for the mythopoetic tone and ominous symbolism of fairy tale--more than one of these pieces, for instance, is set in a dark, foreboding, Hansel-and-Gretel type forest. An example is the story "Painting", where an artist creates a portrait of a lady so beautiful it slays with love all who see it (uncannily like Monty Python's "funniest joke in the world", which kills with laughter all who hear it). Other stories come across as mainstream, but turn out equally pixilated: "Violoncello" evolves from a family saga in modern Vietnam to a weird fable about a boy becoming a musical instrument; "Landfill" has a prosaic face but the undertone is magical realist. Yet one of the very best stories, "The Carolingian Period", is set squarely in a very real world: academia. It tells the melancholy story of an old architecture professor in too much of a hurry, and it shows quite how moving Rhodes can be especially when he isn't turning post-modern literary tricks.

Rhodes's first collection, Anthropology, was a quiver of literary arrows: an ensemble of pointed pithy and often very poignant short stories focusing principally on the anguish and lunacy of love. As such it won much praise and attention, despite, or because of, its peculiarities of style. Don't Tell Me The Truth About Love is no less intriguing. --Sean Thomas --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


* By the time you find the story you most relate to, you won't be sorry to be alone after all. The Sun ...bittersweet yet absurdly magical stories that will pull at your heart strings. By forcing the hitherto unobservable, he shows us an unknown world. ... it's frequently hilarious, and certainly memorable. ...the story turns into a moving dissertation upon the nature and profundity of romantic love, and the all but unbearable effect of its loss...Not until the end do you realise just how good this book is, haunting you long after it has been put down. "For all the picturebook simplicity of Rhodes' storytelling his characters are rarely less than credible, and the emotion genuine. The Times

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Eden with bear-traps" 24 Feb 2001
By A Customer
Someone's already described Rhodes' idea of love as "Eden with bear-traps" and that isn't far out. He's both a cynical realist and a total romantic. Of course you can find a magician to change you into a cello, so that the girl musician who doesn't love you will hold and play you forever. But there's a catch - there always is. The message of these little fables, more or less, is "love's more trouble than it's worth but that won't stop it happening". It's like reading fairytales gone terribly wrong, and always with Rhodes' highly individual, engrossing style. Unputdownable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You must read this book 11 Feb 2001
If you liked Anthroplogy, then you will love this book. Each story is beautifully written and you will want to read them over and over again. Dan Rhodes has confirmed himself as one of the most important new writers of the 21st centuary.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just wonderful 13 Jun 2002
Moving up from very short- 'Anthropology''s stories are only 101 words long- to just quite short, Rhodes manages to cast the same spell of opening up a private universe in the space of a few paragraphs. These stories are lovely, funny, sad, and often surprising. I was particularly fond of 'Beautiful Consuela', but each one is a little gem. Buy this immediately and put some quality back into your reading life!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Quirky Dan strikes again 22 May 2014
By Nick
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Typical slightly twisted short stories from this author - possibly not recommended as the first book to read by Dan Rhodes but one to read after some others of his are read first.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great introduction to Dan's brilliant mind 25 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There isn't a book by Dan Rhodes that I don't like. This is a brilliant collection of pure writing genius. I bought this as a birthday pressie peace offering, to a friend I had upset by buying her Timoleon Vieta Come Home which, incidentally was last year 's present! She was so traumatised after reading TVCH that our rock solid friendship almost crumbled like the Jurassic coastline.
She accepted this beautifully crafted collection of medium-sized stories. That's another thing about Dan's original style. He has very short, short, medium-sized, normal and long stories. He even has homemade published books now with his latest offering, The Prof...
Anyway, Don't Tell Me... has, as I understand, found it's place in her toilet for some good old fashioned solitary reading time!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Talented New Writer 13 Feb 2014
By Terri
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A great writer. This book is a satisfying selection of stories about how love can take unexpected turns. I'd highly recommend both this writer and this specific book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Typical Dan Rhodes joy
Beautifully written stories of one sided love. With the usual Dan Rhodes quirk thrown in. I definitely recommend this book.
Published 10 months ago by c c p smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprising, original and funny. Classic Dan Rhodes.
I chose this book for my book group, having been given the genre of "short stories".

Like the other Dan Rhodes books I have read and loved (The Little White Car... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Cicely Rose
4.0 out of 5 stars A collection of twisted love stories
Dan Rhodes is probably a bit like Marmite, a kind of love or hate affair.
His stories are often a little twisted, often sad, sometimes silly, but usually in a strange way... Read more
Published 17 months ago by YeahYeahNoh
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Collection of Dark Fairytales for Adults
`Don't Tell Me The Truth About Love' rather unsurprisingly given its title is a collection of love stories with a twist, brilliant, just my thing. Read more
Published on 28 Mar 2012 by Simon Savidge Reads
3.0 out of 5 stars Half-joking work-out for love
Unlike his wonderful novel, Timoleon Vieta Come Home, Rhodes's plain, stripped-down, almost disaffected style of writing adds little to the benefit of his subject in these stories. Read more
Published on 21 Sep 2009 by Eileen Shaw
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius
If you only ever read one book in your lifetime, make it this one. Dan writes with more emotion in a few lines than many more recognised authors manage in 100 pages.
Published on 26 Feb 2001
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