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Jigs & Reels
 
 

Jigs & Reels [Kindle Edition]

Joanne Harris
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Amazon.co.uk Review

The quirky tales in Joanne Harris' first collection of short stories, Jigs and Reels, can best be summed up in two words: malevolent and mischievous. As with many of her full-length novels, Harris manages to cleverly combine ordinary--even humdrum--situations and characters with the extraordinary and the unexpected. Tales with a twist indeed.

Harris lets her formidable imagination run riot in Jigs and Reels. This is a rich and wondrous Pandora's box of the odd, the strange, the weird and the downright wicked. Many of her protagonists wreak satisfying revenge on the unsuspecting, in both comical and cringingly gory fashion.

Long enough to get your teeth into, but short enough to read in a flash of the eye, these 22 stories are startlingly different--from pensioners with a penchant for Manolos, to a magical cookbook that bites back; from school reunions with a difference to adventure games taken seriously. And what characters pop out of their slender pages, as large and as deeply rounded as in any novel. Ladies who breakfast at Tesco's, with dark secrets to mull over; limbless swimmers who fall dangerously in love, honeymooners who fall prey to the aphrodisiac qualities of fish, authors whose long-forgotten, half-finished novels come back to haunt them and lottery winners who bet on the ultimate, impossible odds.

In her introduction, Harris says she finds the process of short-story writing slow and difficult and accepts that success is never guaranteed. In truth, not every tale here works, but when it does, it is stunning--and in the spirit of one of her literary heroes, Ray Bradbury--lingers teasingly in the sub-conscious.

Joanne Harris is an anarchic storyteller, delighting in taking her reader by surprise and leaving them reeling. --Carey Green

Amazon Review

The quirky tales in Joanne Harris' first collection of short stories, Jigs and Reels, can best be summed up in two words: malevolent and mischievous. As with many of her full-length novels, Harris manages to cleverly combine ordinary--even humdrum--situations and characters with the extraordinary and the unexpected. Tales with a twist indeed.

Harris lets her formidable imagination run riot in Jigs and Reels. This is a rich and wondrous Pandora's box of the odd, the strange, the weird and the downright wicked. Many of her protagonists wreak satisfying revenge on the unsuspecting, in both comical and cringingly gory fashion.

Long enough to get your teeth into, but short enough to read in a flash of the eye, these 22 stories are startlingly different--from pensioners with a penchant for Manolos, to a magical cookbook that bites back; from school reunions with a difference to adventure games taken seriously. And what characters pop out of their slender pages, as large and as deeply rounded as in any novel. Ladies who breakfast at Tesco's, with dark secrets to mull over; limbless swimmers who fall dangerously in love, honeymooners who fall prey to the aphrodisiac qualities of fish, authors whose long-forgotten, half-finished novels come back to haunt them and lottery winners who bet on the ultimate, impossible odds.

In her introduction, Harris says she finds the process of short-story writing slow and difficult and accepts that success is never guaranteed. In truth, not every tale here works, but when it does, it is stunning--and in the spirit of one of her literary heroes, Ray Bradbury--lingers teasingly in the sub-conscious.

Joanne Harris is an anarchic storyteller, delighting in taking her reader by surprise and leaving them reeling. --Carey Green


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 390 KB
  • Print Length: 298 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B0046LUCK2
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital; New Ed edition (6 July 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003U6YTXK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #84,322 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Joanne Harris is an Anglo-French author, whose books include fourteen novels, two cookbooks and many short stories. Her work is extremely diverse, covering aspects of magic realism, suspense, historical fiction, mythology and fantasy. She has also written a DR WHO novella for the BBC, has scripted guest episodes for the game ZOMBIES, RUN!, and is currently engaged in a number of musical theatre projects as well as developing an original drama for television.
In 2000, her 1999 novel CHOCOLAT was adapted to the screen, starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. She is an honorary Fellow of St Catharine's College, Cambridge, and in 2013 was awarded an MBE by the Queen.
Her hobbies are listed in Who's Who as 'mooching, lounging, strutting, strumming, priest-baiting and quiet subversion'. She also spends too much time on Twitter; plays flute and bass guitar in a band first formed when she was 16; and works from a shed in her garden at her home in Yorkshire.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars more please! 21 Mar 2005
By Kay Bee
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the best thing I've read in years, and I've practically got shares in Amazon!
It's surprised me because I don't usually like short stories. I find them somehow unsatisfying, but having read everything else Joanne Harris has published, I thought I'd give it a go, and I'm delighted I did.
Chocolat is in my top 5 books AND films, and I've enjoyed Harris' other books to a lesser degree, but this collection of - often dark - short stories feels like it was written FOR ME somehow. Whether it's fantasy, dark social comment or little windows on the everyday worlds of apparently average people (no such thing in Joanne Harris' world, thank the gods), there isn't a story in this book which fails to bring it's characters to life, and to me seems to be her greatest strength. Many of the themes here are escapist, but the people are real. You've met them at school, work, walking down the street. But Joanne Harris has peered into their lives and found their humanity and it's this that makes the romantic, fantastic themes of her stories so real and gripping.
More please!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bewitching stories! 21 July 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
As far as I'm concerned, Joanne Harris can do no wrong, even in spite of the slight glitch that was "Coastliners". I love short stories, and this collection is like being given a box of your favourite chocolates all to yourself.
I appreciated the introductions to some of the tales as a glimpse into a writer's life, and thought each one was well worth the read, building up into a very attractive collection and one I would thoroughly recommend. Not quite as stunning as "Five Quarters of the Orange" (for me, Harris' best work so far), but well on the way there!
Roll on her next work!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Join in the dance 30 Mar 2005
Format:Paperback
I have never read a Joanne Haris book before, as I haven't thought of her as 'my sort of author'. But, one Saturday, I found myself shopping and desperately looking for something new to read. I spotted Jigs & Reels on the shelf. The title caught my eye, and I liked what I read on the back. 48hours later, I had finished one of the most hilarious books I have read in ages.
Joanne's short stories feature suburban witches, a suicidal statistician, a cook-book harbouring more than just recipies, and a sinister warning for authors who leave their stories unfinished.
I would thoroughly recomend this book to anyone who wants something to dip-in-to, or an all-in-one-go read. I actually kept it in the bathroom, as this was the best place for 5 and 10 minute reading breaks!
It has also inspired me to finally get to work on some of my own short stories.
I've only given this book 4 stars, for the simple reason that I have none of her other work to compare it with.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Food for Thought 14 Sep 2006
Format:Paperback
Joanne Harris has a talent for turning the usual into the unusual as can be seen from this collection of short stories. Harris writes about love, hate, envy, fear, jealousy and other emotions we all feel at some times in our lives in a touching, funny, sad and even sinister way.

Harris is an observer of human beings and touchingly translates this into her writing. 'Breakfast at Tesco's' and 'Al and Christine's world of Leather' are an example of Harris' understanding of the way people behave towards one another.

Be prepared though, Harris can lure the reader into a story of everyday events, twist it ever so slightly and leave you feelingly shocked and even disturbed as in 'Waiting for Gandalf'.

I throughly enjoyed these short stories and would recommend them to fans of Joannes Harris and to those first coming to her writing. As with her other books, these stories leave one with a feeling of having read something lyrical, poetical and meaningful while having been entertained.
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Aha! Back to and Beyond Her Original Talent 7 April 2004
Format:Hardcover
Having read all of Joanna Harris's books and having enjoyed "Chocolat" to "Three Quarters of the Orange" while despairing at "Coastliners" and "Holy Fools", I ordered "Jigs and Reels" dubiously - and only because I am a great lover of the short story. I was certainly not disappointed this time.
Gone are the cardboard figures meant to be taken seriously and plots verging on the ridiculous. Here there is a collection of remarkably diverse stories - in content as well as style: wry, uproarious, satirical, strange, sad. I found especially effective the portrayal of people declining into old age and the opening story "Faith and Hope Go Shopping" had me hooked.
These are not just twist-in-the tale pieces: each is unique, a little gem, the test being that one wants to read them again, not forget them once any surprise has been reached. They are not comparable, as a collection, to the work of anyone else - and even individual stories which may be reminiscent of Saki or Bradbury or Gordimer or Munro are entirely the new Harris I regard with the highest respect.
However, I have two quibbles: only five of the twenty-two pieces avoid the first-person narrative and the short personal authorial introductions are unnecessary.
Whether you have previously liked Harris's work or not, try this anthology, especially if the short story, such a difficult genre, attracts you.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking 21 Aug 2005
By Faith
Format:Hardcover
This is what stands on the cover of the book:
"Suburban witches, defiant old ladies, ageing monsters, suicidal Lottery winners, wolf men, dolphin women and middle-aged manufacturers of erotic leatherwear. In these twenty-two short stories from the author of HOLY FOOLS and FIVE QUARTERS OF THE ORANGE, the miraculous goes hand-in-hand with the mundane, the sour with the sweet, and the beautiful, the grotesque, the seductive and the disturbing are never more than one step away.
JIGS & REELS is Joanne Harris' first collection of short stories. As she says in her Foreword, a good short story can startle, ignite, and illuminate... giving you vivid, anarchic glimpses into different world, different people. Here, she proves she is as good as her word by creating an eclectic selection of tales for our times that will delight, surprise, entertain and horrify in equal measure. Sly, funny, sometimes provocative but always personal, JIGS & REELS shows a side to Joanne Harris you have never seen before. So go on, be tempted. After all, it's only dancing. "
and I couldn't describe the book better my self. It is differnt Joanne Harris indeed. She mixes the the normal modern world with all kinds of unlikely/unusual things/events. JH really is one of the best writers I know. I mean, usually I don't even like shortstories. I only started reading Jigs & Reels because it was Joanne Harris, wonderful Joanne Harris. And I was very positively surprised. I really enjoyed every single one of JH's stories! And she can really provoke thought on the subjects she writes about. Many of these stories I will never forget. I write about all of them here, not even about all the very brilliant ones. But I think the first story "Faith and Hope go shopping" is the most worthy example.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Twisting Tails
Some of the stories are quite good and some amusing but it lacks the punch of Joanna Harris's novels. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mrs. Hilary Hilton
3.0 out of 5 stars Not my cup of tea
A very mixed bag of short stories, from very good ones to poor ones.
Not one of Joanne Harris's better books
Published 11 months ago by Fiona Simpson
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed..
I have read two other of Joannes books and thoroughly enjoed them but i was very dissapointed with this selection of short stories. I only enjoyed one or too. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Amanda B
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Joanne Harris
I loved this book of short stories. I am a huge fan of Joanne Harris and these short stories were equally as entertaining as her regular books.
Published 16 months ago by Roz
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Stories
Varied, surprising, interesting and well-written, and thoroughly recommended to those who delight in short stories, from a well-known and respected author
Published 19 months ago by Gordon
5.0 out of 5 stars Like them all
I am a great fan of Joanne Harris and enjoyed this book very much. She writes in such a varied way that you never know what to expect from her stories and that makes them more... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Mrs. C. Beavers
5.0 out of 5 stars A really diverse collection of short stories
I bought this book after reading one of the stories in a reading group, having enjoyed the writer's style and sense of humour. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Lorraine Saunders
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking
Normally I hate short stories, but I loved every one of these. They were fast-past, thought-provoking and I found myself gripped by the stories and not wanting them to end.
Published 22 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not like the description!
I was after a nice, light reed between books when I saw this, and although it was enjoyable, it was nothing like I thought it would be. Read more
Published on 11 Mar 2012 by Ms. N. Reeder
4.0 out of 5 stars harris jigs and reels
I am a devouted fan of Joanne Harris, and have read all of her books. I must say this one was enjoyed, but is not my favourite. Read more
Published on 30 Oct 2009 by SuperWomen
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