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Love Songs for the Shy and Cynical [Hardcover]

Robert Shearman
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Hardcover --  
Paperback 8.14  
Audio, CD, Audiobook 14.34  


Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Big Finish Productions Ltd (31 Dec 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844354369
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844354368
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 13.8 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,319,013 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pervese ingenuity indeed 20 Oct 2010
Format:Paperback
Robert Shearman returns with a thoughtful set of short stories about modern love. He has a unique voice that combines the macabre with notes of poignancy and humour. That comedy often comes from the rational way his absurd notions play out in a very English world of reserve and a desire to accommodate. He is well aware of the way that even the greatest dramas of our lives have mundane details written through them like the lettering in seaside rock. The Times Literary Supplement reviewer quoted at the start of the book comes out with a great line when he talks about Rob's "perverse ingenuity that gave us killer robots crying out for love". Most of lead characters in these stories are people who don't follow the norm, who don't think they are feeling the right emotions.

Amongst the highlights is "Love Among the Lobelias", the opening tale of the Devil becoming a romantic novelist, an act which has farcical and deadly consequences. "This Creeping Thing" is probably the most heartbreaking for me. The disappearance of "Luxembourg" doesn't cause many people to lose sleep but a woman finds her life unexpectedly changed. Our modern tendency to mine celebrities out of news events is dryly caught in "Sharp". But it's almost unfair to single out these stories because all of them are strong pieces.

Shearman finds love in the twenty first century battered but not bowed. These stories about its presence, or often its absence, will make you think and feel. Above all, it demands us move beyond conventional Hollywood views of life or romance and move into a richer world.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Darkly comic and superb 8 Dec 2009
Format:Hardcover
Just finished this book and not for a long time has a book made me laugh out loud so much and so often. Some very dark and bleak humour in places and all the more superb for it. Read it. It's fantastic!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Songs For the Shy and Cynical 16 Jun 2010
By Jane Aland VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Robert Shearman's second collection of short stories maintains the high quality of 'Tiny Deaths', offering nineteen new tales based around the theme of love. The stories are a beguiling mix of the mundane and fantastic, with Shearman populating the most bizarre scenarios with realistic and believable characters. The author's touch is also light when it comes to the prose, with a deceptively straightforward writing style that only serves to highlight the intensity of the sudden plot twists or intrusions of the bizarre. The result is rather like being led into a back alley by the friendliest of teddy bears, only to find oneself visciously mugged and beaten moments later.

Despite the theme there's nothing cosy about this book, with heartbreak and painful consquences being more prevalent than romantic fulfilment. There is also plenty of humour however, albeit usually of the blackest variety. I don't really want to talk about the specifics of any of the stories themeslves, because to do so would rob the reader of the suprises in store. Suffice to say, 'Love Songs for the Shy and Cynical' is amusing, horrifying and frequently affecting, all at the same time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent short stories 12 Feb 2011
By Tony
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Quite a short review for this book really.

It's more of the same from Robert Shearman and when I say that I mean that in a good way. It's more of the same diverting, interesting, unique and engaging short stories just like in his previous tome 'Tiny Deaths' which I have bought as a present for people because I wanted people to read these stories.

I really wish that I had heard Mr. Shearmans radio 4 plays as if they are as compelling as this collection of stories, they must be a good listen, sadly I don't think they are commercially available as audio.

Highly recommended and a book that I'm sure I will return to.
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