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Moss Witch: And Other Stories Paperback – 26 Sep 2013

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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£9.98 FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books. Only 4 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Comma Press; First Edition edition (26 Sept. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905583427
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905583423
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 1.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 345,692 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'She has built bridges that may tempt new minds across to science. How ingenious.' --The Guardian

'Remarkable... refreshingly different... this collection abounds with revelations for writer, scientist and reader alike.' --The Irish Times

'Simply dazzling; my woodland walks will never be the same.' --New Scientist

About the Author

Sara Maitland grew up in Galloway and studied at Oxford University. Her first novel, Daughters of Jerusalem, was published in 1978 and won the Somerset Maugham Award. Novels since have included Three Times Table (1990), Home Truths (1993) and Brittle Joys (1999), and one cowritten with Michelene Wandor Arky Types (1987). Her short story collections include Telling Tales (1983), A Book of Spells (1987) and most recently, On Becoming a Fairy Godmother (2003). She also contributed a story to The New Uncanny (Comma, 2008).


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I'm still reading it. I don't know what made me buy it but the idea must have come from the BBC (UK) radio 4 book programme. I'll write a proper review when I've finished, but the first (title) story was too skimpy to merit consideration as a complete story. The afterword was learned and better-written than the story. The story was not without interest, but felt confused and incomplete at the end. In fact (since I had forgotten why I'd bought it) I did not realise that it had ended until I turned the page.
I'll give the rest of the collection a try (the second one seems a bit more promising) but I'm not impressed so far.

THIS IS MY CONSIDERED REVIEW, HAVING READ ALL OF THE STORIES AND AFTERWORDS:

Firstly let me correct my errors in the original review:
The opening story is, in fact, "Her Bonxie Boy", and although I did find it confusing and skimpy, in the context of the whole collection I'd say it was a quirky, atmospheric fantasy, in keeping with the rest of the stories, the weirdest of which was "Seeing Double", about a boy born with two faces.

In fact, each story deals imaginatively with a topic of scientific interest or discovery, often from a female point of view but eschewing a feminist polemic. Each story is followed by an "afterword" written by an eminent specialist on the phenomenon around which the story is constructed. The afterwords are useful in themselves to anyone interested in mankind's effort to understand different bits of the universe (theoretical, as in "On Sneezing an Uncertain Sneeze" or down-to-earth, as in "Instant Light"). But they also complement the stories with references to the way the author has woven the story around the phenomenon.
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Format: Paperback
I have raced through these clever, quirky, diverse stories, each of which is followed by an essay by a scientist. In some ways it reminds me of Borges, who plays with metaphysical ideas in short stories (and some of Maitland's stories, like the one set in Persia, read a little like say, "the Aleph" or "The garden of forking paths". But while I admire Borges, he is not much fun; Maitland's stories really are. And in some stories, or rather the essays that follow the stories, you learn about the frontiers of contemporary science. A wonderful collection.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this collection of short stories compelling. Each tale involves a different scientific phenomenon, but there's nothing stuffy or academic about the writing style. Sara Maitland has spun stories that - while inspired by science - break new ground thanks to her powerful imagination. Characters are masterfully created, especially in the brilliantly titled 'The Mathematics of Magic Carpets'. The title tale - 'Moss Witch' - is superb: a captivating blend of ecobiology, folklore and magic.

Perfect.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a gift, based upon listening to the title story read in the BBC Short Story competition. This was my 'winner' (ridiculous idea).
A profound, beautifully written tale of mythic power. I went on to learn more about Sara Maitland, and to buy "Gossip from the Forest', a book
about the place of fairy tales and forests in culture and actuality. She is a wise woman...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed these stories, and also the commentaries attached to them, written by people knowledgeable in the topics on which the stories were based.
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