- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Penguin (2 Nov. 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0140296786
- ISBN-13: 978-0140296785
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,038,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Speaking with the Angel Paperback – 2 Nov 2000
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The contributors' list of this collection of freshly penned literary monologues, published to help The Treehouse Trust, a charity for autistic children, reads like a Who's Who of the richest, hippest authors in the UK--with a healthy smattering of talent from across the pond.
The editor, Nick (High Fidelity) Hornby, as well as writing a moving and very heartfelt introduction--his own child is autistic--submits one of the best efforts: "Nipple Jesus", a slyly funny parable about a security man guarding a chunk of dubious modern art. Other notable contributions come from Irvine (Trainspotting) Welsh with one of his identity-swap-stories, this time about a Scottish stud-muffin turned into an unwitting gay, and John (The Best A Man Can Get) O'Farrell, with a predictably funny, surprisingly edgy confessional from a mime artist slowly going to the dogs. Other big names included are Helen Fielding, Robert Harries, Zadie Smith, Roddy Doyle, et al.
As with many of these projects, there is a slight feeling of incestuousness; Hornby actually admits that Harries is married to his sister, and that O'Farrell went to his school. But given the goodness of the cause, it's no real reason to quibble. --Sean Thomas
About the Author
Nick Hornby is the author of three international bestselling books: FEVER PITCH (1992), HIGH FIDELITY (1995) and ABOUT A BOY (1998). All three have either been filmed or are about to be. He lives in Highbury, north London.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I enjoyed all the stories. I would recommend this anthology to those who enjoy any of the novelists work, and those wiling to discover artists of a similar genre. Nick Hornby should be commended for compiling such a complimentry group of authors into one collection, for an absolutely tops cause!
Its all for a good cause too, with £1 every copy sold donated to the Treehouse Trust for autistic children.
However, this book pulled me in from page 1, with Hornby's very moving introduction. Hornby dedicated this book to his son Danny who is an autistic child, he then went on to describe very eloquently the plight of autistic children and what his experience as a father to one is like.
Now, I admit I did not like every story in the book, however out of 12 short stories, there were only 4 that I didn't quite enjoy as much as the rest of them. The stories are all first-person narrations written by a range of British authors, with completely different styles of writing who take you from a bizarre dog narrating his story, to a disgraced prime minister, to a security guard, to a death-row chef.
I will only mention my favourite stories in this review, and that includes the first story of the book "PMQ" by Robert Harris, who tells the story of what happens when Britain's Prime Minister goes AWOL and ditches his security guards to have a night out on his own leading him to a series of unfortunate events. It was such a great start to the anthology, it put a huge smile on my face, not only because it was wonderfully funny, but because of how well-written and cleverly executed it was.
My second favourite story was "Last Requests" by Giles Smith, which portrays a prison cook who prepares last request meals for death-row inmates.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Simply the best short stories I have read. Multiple mini-masterpieces.Published 5 months ago by Bryan
It is not written by Nick Hornby and I did not realise that when I bought the book but there are some great stories.Published on 23 July 2013 by laurence
I bought this book wanting to learn more about writing short stories, as I'm trying to be a writer myself. Read morePublished on 9 Jun. 2013 by Daryl Clifford