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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars7
3.3 out of 5 stars
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on 12 July 2003
This collection is A.L. Kennedy's finest book yet: a writer of incredible talent and power, telling stories with subtlety, humour and above all, amazing emotional insight. No other writer I've read, for instance, has captured so precisely the sensory experience of running a hand down a lover's face, as Kennedy does here in 'An Immaculate Man'.
Often her subject matter is macabre -- a narrator wakes up in claustrophobic hotel room with no idea of how she arrived there; a janitor tells his son bedtime stories about the affair he's having with a colleague -- yet all are tinged with a strange optimism and Kennedy's characteristic pawky sense of humour. Even the doomed love affairs, which form the basis of several stories here, tend to end on a redemptive note: 'A Little Like Light' finishes with a beautiful description of love which sends shivers down my spine on every reading.
Elsewhere 'Spared', the first story here, is simply perfect, the work -- like every other story here -- of a writer at the top of her game.
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on 18 February 2004
I find A.L. Kennedy to be a compelling writer, whether I'm reading her fiction or newspaper columns. Having said that, she can also be hard work. Maybe the thought of reading her books is more enjoyable than the act. Still recommended though if only for the way she has of putting together some incredible sentences
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on 25 May 2015
I found many of the stories to be repetitve in nature, focussing on adultery and affairs. The characters were shallow and devoid of any likeability. Rude words for the sake of rude words. Attempting to be shocking and bold but ending up amateurish and monotonous. Wrapped up in pretentious hype, it was not an enjoyable read.
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on 15 May 2003
.
Full Title "INDELIBLE ACTS: A Collection of Stories"
First, please see the Editorial Reviews and Authour Background on amazon.com for a concise-but-vivid description of the theme
running through the twelve stories.
Aliison Kennedy has "mesmerising eloquence" indeed, a rare capacity to stick a hand into the depths of human emotion, and take out a fistful presented to the reader as a moving living picture. She has the gift of being able to construct sentences poignantly personal one moment, and achingly banal the next. One is always left stirring, never emotionally unscathed.
Read through each of the twelve stories with wonder. And discover without wondering why she is the only name in Granta magazine's list of best British novelists for two decades in a row.
Surpasses Graham Swift and Ethan Canin put together. In her own way, approaching Guy de Maupassant and Edgar Allan Poe.
Worth getting a hardcover copy of.
.
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on 23 May 2003
.
Full Title "INDELIBLE ACTS: A Collection of Stories"
First, please see the Editorial Reviews and Authour Background on amazon.com for a concise-but-vivid description of the theme
running through the twelve stories.
Aliison Kennedy has "mesmerising eloquence" indeed, a rare capacity to stick a hand into the depths of human emotion, and take out a fistful presented to the reader as a moving living picture. She has the gift of being able to construct sentences poignantly personal one moment, and achingly banal the next. One is always left stirring, never emotionally unscathed.
Read through each of the twelve stories with wonder. And discover without wondering why she is the only name in Granta magazine's list of best British novelists for two decades in a row.
Surpasses Graham Swift and Ethan Canin put together. In her own way, approaching Guy de Maupassant and Edgar Allan Poe.
Worth getting a hardcover copy of.
.
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on 26 August 2009
I'm just not gelling with these stories. The first one (about a man starting an affair with a woman he meets in a cheese shop) started out promising, then took at turn into the most bizarre ending I've ever seen. It just left me baffled and completely unsatisfied. The story about a boy sledding with his friend then not wanting to go home to his own family was equally weird, and just somehow pointless. The story about the man being seduced by a male colleague was just ridiculous in its portrayal of the characters, I wanted to jump into the book and talk some sense into them. I must admit I haven't finished the book yet and am seriously considering consigning it to the recycling bin. Maybe I'm just missing the point...?
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on 23 March 2010
This book was horrible and I couldn't even finish it, which rarely happens. The first 3 stories all dealt with penises (and/or "spunk") and pointless interactions and that was all I needed to move on to something more enjoyable. I know I am supposed to be enthralled with the author's brilliance and writing expertise, but I hope these stories are not indicative of the other books she has written. No thanks.
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