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The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales (Salt Modern Fiction)

The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales (Salt Modern Fiction) [Kindle Edition]

Kirsty Logan
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
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Product Description


A thrilling walk through a brilliant mind, full of unexpected connections and utterly original leaps across voice, structure, genre. Truly anarchic artistically but always true emotionally, and delivered with the skill of a virtuoso. Read it in one sitting for the thrill then read it again for the smarts. (Bidisha)

Product Description

Winner of the Scott Prize Twenty tales of lust and loss. These stories feature clockwork hearts, lascivious queens, paper men, island circuses, and a flooded world. On the island of Skye, an antlered girl and a tiger-tailed boy resolve never to be friends – but can they resist their unique connection? In an alternative 19th-century Paris, a love triangle emerges between a man, a woman, and a coin-operated boy. A teenager deals with his sister's death by escaping from their tiny Scottish island – but will she let him leave? In 1920s New Orleans, a young girl comes of age in her mother's brothel. Some of these stories are radical retellings of classic tales, some are modern-day fables, but all explore substitutions for love.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 932 KB
  • Print Length: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Salt (14 Mar 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00J8MW6AI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #31,472 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Patchy 8 May 2014
By MisterHobgoblin TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It is difficult to sustain quality through a collection of short stories and I'm not sure Kirsty Logan has managed it.

There is one gem of a story - Una and Coll are Not Friends - that shines far brighter than any other story in the collection. It is gentle, subtle, humorous and human. It has a depth and makes one think about the nature of being an outsider. There are a couple of other interesting stories, particularly the Tiger Palace. Most (but not all) stories have some current of lesbian love. And most seem to have some reference to fairy stories as a genre, although few seem to be readily identifiable to specific stories.

The problem is that the collection is very patchy and, like a 1980s pop album, seems to be mostly filler. Many stories seem to be quirky for its own sake - e.g. the Rental Heart or the Coin Operated Boy - but don't actually seem to go anywhere or have anything to say. Maybe they just didn't press my buttons, but the whole did seem somewhat dull and repetitive. Few of the characters seemed to have much humanity or warmth which tends to further disengage the reader.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Other Worldly 9 April 2014
You feel like you can walk into each of the worlds of these stories, they are so instantly alive. In some you wouldn't want to stay too long: not with the sad, grimy repetition of two brothers desperately trying to shag their way to a family reunion or the grieving couple whose garden is as barren as their marriage. You might want to hang around a 19th Century Paris where artificial boyfriends, with geometric bodies, can be hired as the perfect companion for ladies who like things just so. Or you might linger a while on the isle of Skye, to see if the girl with antlers and the boy with a tail will get together, even though they're annoyed at everyone's assumptions that they will, because they're the only two .. well, different ... types around. And you'll almost certainly want to fight your way through the jungle to reach the Tiger Palace, where a magnificent empress sits waiting for an escape and longing for a reason to stay.
Some stories are short and snappy flash fiction, hanging on a neat phrase or a tricksy conceit. Others are longer and deeper, carefully evoking various different worlds, each with its own fantastical logic. But somehow, the atmosphere is fairly consistent throughout: mysterious, sensual, half-in-love with artifice and metaphor but not disguising a sweet sincerity at their (rental) heart.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great collection from a wonderful writer 9 April 2014
By Rhys180
Format:Kindle Edition
Picked up the paperback version and was hooked as soon as I started reading it. The stories, though different, all contain the same excellent writing and wonderful characters. I particularly loved The Broken West story. I would strongly recommend this to anyone who wants a great collection of stories that take you away from the mundane and into the fantastical, romantic and the truly spectacular.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very mixed, and unrewarding 4 Jun 2014
By YeahYeahNoh TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm a big fan of short stories, so I picked this up for my Kindle in the hope of finding one or two gems.
I concur with Mister Hobgoblin that the real standout is Una and Coll are Not Friends.
Many of the stories had interesting starts, but the whole was not the sum of the potential.
I really struggled to get through it, and it became a chore rather than a pleasure.
Sorry, because I do generally like the genre, and can usually find good things to say about such a collection.
Of course, we all have differing ideas, so if you like the sound of it, don't let me put you off.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Odd stories that fizzle out 24 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Certainly fires your imagination but they also leave you hanging. I prefer a bit more of a resolution at the end.
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