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England and Other Stories [Kindle Edition]

Graham Swift
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £16.99
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Book Description

A collection of new stories from the Booker-prize winning author of Last Orders and Waterland; 'a powerful statement about English ways of life and death' Independent on Sunday

Meet Dr Shah, who has never been to India, and Mrs Kaminski, on her way to Poland via A&E. Meet Holly and Polly, who have come to their own Anglo-Irish understanding; Charlie and Don, who have seen the docks turn into Docklands; Daisy Baker, terrified of Yorkshire; and Johnny Dewhurst, stranded on Exmoor.

Binding these stories together is Graham Swift's affectionate but unflinching instinct for the story of us all: an evocation of that mysterious body that is a nation, deepened by the palpable sense of our individual bodies finding or losing their way in the nationless territory of birth, ageing, sex and death.
'England writ large. Swift's England is one pulsating with its past ... his protagonists the everymen and women who make up this country' Observer

'Ordinary lives become extraordinary in Graham Swift's powerful stories' Sunday Times

'Beautifully realised. An intimate, quirky and affectionate tour of Everyman's England' The Times

'Elegant, humble, and humane ... A coherent, powerful statement about English ways of life and death' Independent on Sunday

Product Description


'Swift s exquisite stories ... are parables, cautionary tales, fables without a moral. What is not said is as important as what can t be told'--Independent

'A coherent, powerful statement about English ways of life and death ... This is a collection, at once elegant, humble, and humane, that makes you sad that the Man Booker overlooks the form'--Independent on Sunday

'For all that many of his characters come close to being types, these stories assert forcibly the individual beneath the conventional exterior. That ability to colour forever the reader's perception ... at the same time as articulating emotions too strong for the narrator's own words, is typical of Swift's gift one reason these stories resonate with such vibrancy'

'In beautifully crafted, understated prose, Swift packs powerful emotional punches which, I tell him, on occasion left me feeling almost physically winded' --Financial Times

About the Author

Graham Swift was born in 1949 and is the author of nine acclaimed novels, a collection of short stories and Making an Elephant, a book of essays, portraits, poetry and reflections on his life in writing. With Waterland he won the Guardian Fiction Prize, and with Last Orders the Booker Prize. Both novels have since been made into films. Graham Swift's work has appeared in over thirty languages.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 539 KB
  • Print Length: 285 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (3 July 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00ILI6QQ0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #53,628 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Place In Time 15 Mar. 2015
While reading these 25 short stories, I was trying to place them, what did they have in common, was there a thread, what was the author's message? After finishing the last story, I realized that the only commonality was an event in the life of the person telling the story. The event is not always life shattering, but something that was and will be remembered.

For me, it was difficult to understand each story. There is rarely a beginning or an ending, we witness a place in time. Some rang true to me, in 'Mrs. Kaminski' I recognized an elderly woman being questioned by a physician. The physician was trying to place her orientation, she had fallen, she was ninety, did she have some form of dementia? Mrs. Kaminski told her, she was on her way to Poland to be with her husband and her son. Poland was a metaphor for death, not confused at all, Mrs. Kaminski wanted to be with her family, it was time. In 'Fusilli' , a father was shopping, and remembering his last conversation with his son, who was in Kelmand, Afghanistan. His son called as he was shopping for pasta, and suggested that his father always buy dried pasta not fresh, it lasted longer. He and his wife would never eat Fusilli again, but he had to purchase one more package, just to have it. These examples give you a semblance of the 25 stories. None of them humorous, all with a message. It is my hope that these stories will resonate with the English audience, because some left me confused. Is it an English thing?

The writing is superb, in fact I wanted some of the stories to continue, but alas, whatever was driving Mr.Swift had been said.

Recommended. prisrob 03-14-15
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars England and Other Stories 19 Jan. 2015
Format:Kindle Edition
This is an interesting collection of stories – there are a couple set in the past, one in 1805 and another in an England torn by Civil War –but most have a contemporary setting. They deal mostly with situations that are quite ordinary; a man remembering the day he visited a solicitor with his new wife to make out their wills, two old school friends at the funeral of their former headmaster, a man remembering how his parents viewed a neighbour they thought was a little odd, a widowed osteopath with a young client, a man who locks himself out of his house… However, all of these initially normal situations are given a twist, to show what goes on below the surface. Whether it is a hairdresser chatting to a customer, or a man shopping for pasta in Waitrose, the author uncovers the depth of human feeling. This is a book which deals with grief, loneliness, isolation, friendship, the bonds of childhood and loss. A very good collection of short stories, which I enjoyed very much. Lastly, I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A mixed bunch 13 Oct. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It took me a while to get through these stories and I usually race through books. Some, particularly Fusilli, were intensely harrowing. Others, I wasn't quite sure of the intent and they seemed to drift off without any satisfactory development of the story.
A good choice for bedtime reading or to put on a kindle when you want 10 mins distraction.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A tremendous return for Graham Swift. Last Orders is one of my all time favourites and this collection of short stories certainly did not disappoint for his return. Lovely, sad, funny,subtle, and so insightful that you feel you know these people within a paragraph or two. I loved it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars England now 12 Aug. 2014
This is an outstanding collection of short stories. Its theme is, as its title implies' 'England' or rather English people living now. Each story is sensitive and takes us into some particular crucial point in the life of someone living in England - a lawyer who has leant that his illness is incurable, a girl realising she is a lesbian, an elderly confused person whose Polish husband was killed flying for the RAF, a man protecting his child etc. None of the stories in themselves are perhaps outstanding but each shows insight and creates sympathy but the strength of the book is its cumulative effect.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have to confess I am not a great fan of short stories but The Moth and Margaret Atwoods latest were good enough to tempt me into trying this.

Inconsequential stories. Most with very little structure. Unsympathetic characters. Endless loose ends.. Couldn't finish it.
Sorry, not for me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful variety 12 Dec. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a really varied collection of short stories beautifully written and a thoroughly enjoyable read,for all tastes and interests.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great present. 24 Nov. 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A charming book which I enjoyed before passing it on to a friend, who also enjoyed it. This one will travel far I think.
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