Top positive review
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Amazing emotional insight
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.