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Matters Of Life & Death Paperback – 3 May 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (3 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099493039
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099493037
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 351,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"These are stories in the easiest and most pleasurable sense of the word. MacLaverty's work is in a line from Chekhov, via Frank O'Connor" (Anne Enright Guardian)

"I have not read anything as good for a long time" (Literary Review)

"Eleven exquisite examples of the genre... MacLaverty writes with consumamte skill... This is a book to cherish and one to read and re-read with pleasure in the skilful craft of its composition" (Irish Independent)

"MacLaverty is an exhilarating, tender, humorous wirter... who can set a scene and create a character with Chekhovian delicacy and economy... He reminds us that although life is a dangerous, painful business, we should never despair" (Sunday Telegraph)

"This stupendous new book - crucial, shattering sentences - that express, modestly, monumentally the achievement of this extraordinary writer. He is in behind your eyes before you feel his thinking knife ...Matters of Life and Death is a great book. The explicit presiding literary presence is Chekhov. Not reached nor striven for, innate, rather" (Candia McWilliams Scottish Review of Books)

Book Description

An exquisite story collection yet from a contemporary master of the form.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Brummie reader on 30 July 2007
Format: Paperback
There are 2 great stories here: 'Up the Coast' and 'A Trusted Neighbour', which as well as being beautifully written are also complex and thought provoking. The characters are flawed, alive, rendered exquisitely and the reader is drawn into a deep engagement with them. At least I was. Maybe the other stories do not quite hit these heights but two or three of them are expertly done and nearly as good - On the Roundabout, A Trojan Sofa, Learning to Dance - the others are maybe weaker in terms of plot but not in terms of the writing which remains perfect throughout. I'd have given it 4 and a half stars if that was allowed.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book of short stories took me by surprise. It was our local book club offering and, as I don't really like short stories, I was not expecting to be blown away by the quality of the storytelling and how MacLaverty engages you with the characters in such a compressed number of words. (some of the stories are very short). The style is very simple and conversational which makes for a very easy read. The setting for all but the last story was in Northern Ireland which made the final offering seem a bit incongruous. I really recommend this book and will certainly be looking for more by this talented author
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of the finest collections of short stories I've ever read. There is a clarity and searing honesty to Bernard MacLaverty's prose that lends the necessary gravity to the 'matters of life and death' described herein. Compassion, warmth, humour and an unflinching eye give these stories a visceral quality that is by turns shocking and deeply moving but also humane and profoundly affirming.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I can't believe it took me so long to come across MacLaverty. He's brilliant. Funny, moving, sensitive. There are moments in these stories where the reader will pause to adsorb and admire.
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