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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 18 September 2009
This collection of short stories by Marina Warner is both erudite and readable, though I did have to look up the meaning of "anhedonia" (a lack of ability to feel pleasure). On the whole Warner wears her erudition fairly lightly, and her stories are mostly entertaining. The best of them No One Goes Hungry, is about a man with an insatiable appetite who uses his young daughter as bait to extract money from the narrator, to feed himself when the money runs out. Another, Canary, is a very assured story which I have read recently in an anthology, concerning the monstrous ego of an artist which eventually destroys his wife.

However, I found some of this collection rather bloodless, very much abstract ideas-based, and even anodyne in parts. The technique is good but there is no real mystery or depth in the imagination - their themes are developed only so far, almost as if something in them had hypnotised the writer at a particular stage, leading her to take them no further. To be fair, this does not apply to the two picked out above, which seemed to have more of a zing to them. I could not read more than one or two of these stories in one reading session as some had me drowsing. I loved the cover though.
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