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on 14 February 2003
Why don't you stop talking. It's an instruction, not a question, taken from one of the most powerful stories in this collection. It isn't aimed at us readers, there'd be no need - the intensity of Jackie Kay's stories leaves you struggling for breath let alone speech.
From the first line, Kay's writing firmly pulls you a couple of layers down below comfort level. Most of the stories centre on private pain, impossible to show or share. Many of them feature women alone and isolated. All of them invoke strong emotions and unsettling thoughts. But they also make you laugh out loud, smile secretly, re-read phrases again and again for sheer joy. And then stay up until you've read all fourteen in an evening, knowing you want to save some, knowing you can't.
Kay is best known as a poet, and every word here is put in place with a poet's precision. Every layer of rhythm and meaning is carefully and confidently constructed, carrying you along like the subtlest of melodies.
Hard to believe this is Kay's first book of short stories and harder still to imagine what she'll do next.
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on 9 October 2009
A highly enjoyable collection. Jackie Kay deftly weaves harsh reality with the surreal;Why don't you stop talking: Stories to create stories about the nitty-gritty of 'ordinary' folk's lives, which, although often dealing with the tragic, sparkle with warmth and humour.

A life-affirming collection.
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on 2 November 2011
Jackie Kay has the skill to take you on a journey from the mundane to somewhere strange and curious. The characters in her stories are endearingly odd and this book is definitely one of my favourite short story collections.
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on 23 January 2013
Loved all the stories in this book but I am a great fan of Jackie Kay. Such unusual stories, she is a master of this genre as well. Well perceived and so moving..loved them all
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on 18 February 2013
Great collection of short stories, each one has a really strong voice and sense of character. I would recommend for any commuter or short-story lover.
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on 12 January 2003
I was bought this book for Christmas and I thouroughly enjoyed reading it, although it does not rival the classics such as Tolkien it is a brilliant book. The delightful stories portray the characters so vividly with so few words.
I was very pleased when I found out that the stories did not relate to one another as this ment I could read the book in small portions. My favourite short story is 'The Oldest Woman In Scotland', 'The Woman With Knife and Fork Disorder' is also a story that portrays 'real life' experiences. Although I have not read any of her previous works I am confident that they are all as good as this and I plan to buy 'Trumpet' as soon as possible. A recomendable read.
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on 5 August 2014
Horrid stories. Really hated this and stopped reading this book full of misery.
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