Nik Perring was a chap who I met at Congleton Library, which was hosting a special Literary Evening featuring local authors and writers. Hearing about his life and work made for enlightening discussion, and to hear him read one of his short stories was enough to make me want to check out this particular collection.
Not So Perfect features twenty-two of Nick's short stories. The premise is focusing on twenty-two extraordinary circumstances, with the lives of folks who are notably flawed, yet possess potential for hope, a capacity for love and can achieve happiness through confidence and if fate permits it.
All and each of the stories contained here are simple, yet rich in both variety and power. Every single story I read in Not So Perfect had a great impact on me, filling me with senses of hope, sadness, loss, tragedy, satisfaction, contentment, despair and elation. All in all, this very much reflects human nature and life itself, but nothing is overstated or contrived. It feels natural and plausible, ultimately making this book rather endearing.
Perring's short stories range from radical to grounded, packed with all kinds of wonderful metaphors, philosophies and real imaginative flair. The author's writing itself is wonderful and accessible. Anyone can pick up Not So Perfect and understand the meaning of Nik's message to the world. It's not only concise, it's just loaded with charm.
There's not a single dud story to be found in Not So Perfect, but the ones I would really recommend are "Kiss", "Shark Boy", "Not Nitro", "Watching, Listening", "My Heart's in a Box", "Two Old Women Watching in My Garden", "The Other Mr Panossian", "Sobs", "The Angel in the Car Park" and "Number 14". To me, these made for the most essential readings. Others will find their own favourites, but all will surely agree that there's nothing but all-round excellence to be found in this cracking little book.
If I was forced to find fault, then maybe it would be that this collection is too short and over before you know it. But that's just a petty nitpick. Not So Perfect is the complete opposite of its title. It's a virtually faultless collection of delightful short stories that will satisfy all readers, writers, reviewers and critics. Simply top-notch stuff from Nik Perring! Check it out!