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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Eden with bear-traps"
Someone's already described Rhodes' idea of love as "Eden with bear-traps" and that isn't far out. He's both a cynical realist and a total romantic. Of course you can find a magician to change you into a cello, so that the girl musician who doesn't love you will hold and play you forever. But there's a catch - there always is. The message of these little fables,...
Published on 24 Feb. 2001

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3.0 out of 5 stars Half-joking work-out for love
Unlike his wonderful novel, Timoleon Vieta Come Home, Rhodes's plain, stripped-down, almost disaffected style of writing adds little to the benefit of his subject in these stories. It is love once again - in Timoleon the love of a dog for his master - here, loves of various kinds, which are given a series of strangely cool and half-joking work-outs.

The...
Published on 21 Sept. 2009 by Eileen Shaw


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Eden with bear-traps", 24 Feb. 2001
By A Customer
Someone's already described Rhodes' idea of love as "Eden with bear-traps" and that isn't far out. He's both a cynical realist and a total romantic. Of course you can find a magician to change you into a cello, so that the girl musician who doesn't love you will hold and play you forever. But there's a catch - there always is. The message of these little fables, more or less, is "love's more trouble than it's worth but that won't stop it happening". It's like reading fairytales gone terribly wrong, and always with Rhodes' highly individual, engrossing style. Unputdownable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Collection of Dark Fairytales for Adults, 28 Mar. 2012
`Don't Tell Me The Truth About Love' rather unsurprisingly given its title is a collection of love stories with a twist, brilliant, just my thing. If you are thinking these will be stories with a happy ending, you would be wrong. Like the proper versions of the fairytales we know and love from childhood, which are indeed much more sinister in their original form than Ladybird or Disney would have you believe, these are all wonderfully dark with some vicious and also hilarious twists as the tales develop. In fact the blurb of the book (I only tend to read these after I have finished a book, random fact, like I do other reviews and thoughts) does say this is `a homage to the brothers Grimm'.

There are seven stories in the collection all with one main theme, they all have a wonderful sense of magic, be they set in forests like `Glass Eyes' or in the modern world as `The Violoncello'. We have tales of unrequited love between old men and young beauties, old hags who magically entice young lovers, men willing to literally become instruments for women to play with, women so obsessed their lovers don't love them they will see how far they can test that love. As you can probably tell, love appears in many forms, always quite darkly and generally with a twist.

I will admit the first story `The Carolingian Period' worried me that I might be a little disappointed, it didn't do quite enough as a tale or effect me like I wanted it to, I also predicted the ending a little. That said it was still a great story, just having read Dan's other works I wanted more. `The Violoncello' changed all that. I admit I was thinking `if these are fairy stories why are we in modern Asia not the wooded lands' but the magical element kicked in and, if there is such a thing, it became an epic short story. I loved it and reminded myself that stories should never be predictable and fairy tales can happen anywhere, `Landfill' another marvellous example of that as it plays out in, well, a landfill. With `The Violoncello' really I felt like I got a full novel in 44 pages, the story, the characters, the atmosphere, the emotion were all wonderfully drawn.

It was those stories which had glimmers of the ones I loved as a child that I will admit I loved the most. `Glass Eyes' was a wonderfully dark tale of a wizened witch disguising herself and wanting her beautiful lover to be as ugly as her. In fact beauty is a theme in my three favourite of the story's as `Beautiful Consuela' where a woman pushes the lines of love vs. beauty to extremes and my very favourite, and probably the darkest of the tales `The Painting' shows the darkest effects beauty can have and what it can cause.

As I said at the start I like collections of stories that feel like fairy tales for adults. I like books that are darkly funny. I like Dan Rhodes. If you like anyone of these then you must get `Don't Tell Me The Truth About Love'. It's a veritable treat.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You must read this book, 11 Feb. 2001
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If you liked Anthroplogy, then you will love this book. Each story is beautifully written and you will want to read them over and over again. Dan Rhodes has confirmed himself as one of the most important new writers of the 21st centuary.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Half-joking work-out for love, 21 Sept. 2009
By 
Eileen Shaw "Kokoschka's_cat" (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
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Unlike his wonderful novel, Timoleon Vieta Come Home, Rhodes's plain, stripped-down, almost disaffected style of writing adds little to the benefit of his subject in these stories. It is love once again - in Timoleon the love of a dog for his master - here, loves of various kinds, which are given a series of strangely cool and half-joking work-outs.

The jokiness comes through in the grotesque extremes of some of these tales, notably in the last, Beautiful Consuela, where a woman deliberately makes herself ugly to find out if her husband really loves her. In another, much shorter story, a man whose bins have been taken away by the Council, makes a visit to a landfill site and falls for a beautiful girl who lives there in penury.

Many of these stories have a cosmopolitan setting - somewhere in France, or perhaps Spain - it is never quite clear, deliberately so, as Dan Rhodes eschews the cultural complexities of place and environment and concentrates on archetypes. A beautiful young girl, a handsome young man - it is not people that exercise his imagination so much as the things they represent.

I was disappointed in this collection, when measured against the sublime and disturbing experience of reading Timoleon Vieta Come Home.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great introduction to Dan's brilliant mind, 25 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: Don't Tell Me the Truth About Love (Paperback)
There isn't a book by Dan Rhodes that I don't like. This is a brilliant collection of pure writing genius. I bought this as a birthday pressie peace offering, to a friend I had upset by buying her Timoleon Vieta Come Home which, incidentally was last year 's present! She was so traumatised after reading TVCH that our rock solid friendship almost crumbled like the Jurassic coastline.
She accepted this beautifully crafted collection of medium-sized stories. That's another thing about Dan's original style. He has very short, short, medium-sized, normal and long stories. He even has homemade published books now with his latest offering, The Prof...
Anyway, Don't Tell Me... has, as I understand, found it's place in her toilet for some good old fashioned solitary reading time!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Surprising, original and funny. Classic Dan Rhodes., 6 April 2013
I chose this book for my book group, having been given the genre of "short stories".

Like the other Dan Rhodes books I have read and loved (The Little White Car and Come Home Timoleon Vieta) this one did not disappoint. Extremely funny in places, tender and always unpredictable these stories were a joy to read!

I particularly loved Landfill and Beautiful Consuela for their innovative quality, the latter bearing a highly pertinent sentiment for our image-obsessed society.

I enjoyed the recurring themes of music and musical instruments and, of course, the unstoppable force of love.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quirky Dan strikes again, 22 May 2014
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Typical slightly twisted short stories from this author - possibly not recommended as the first book to read by Dan Rhodes but one to read after some others of his are read first.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A collection of twisted love stories, 16 Mar. 2013
By 
YeahYeahNoh (Willenhall, West Midlands) - See all my reviews
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Dan Rhodes is probably a bit like Marmite, a kind of love or hate affair.
His stories are often a little twisted, often sad, sometimes silly, but usually in a strange way amongst the most romantic of things. The collection here is seven stories long, of varying lengths.
It's hard to single any out for specific praise, they're all very good.
As others have said, there are hints of fantasy and fairy tales, but also we get modern waste management.
Highly recommended!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just wonderful, 13 Jun. 2002
This review is from: Don't Tell Me the Truth About Love (Paperback)
Moving up from very short- 'Anthropology''s stories are only 101 words long- to just quite short, Rhodes manages to cast the same spell of opening up a private universe in the space of a few paragraphs. These stories are lovely, funny, sad, and often surprising. I was particularly fond of 'Beautiful Consuela', but each one is a little gem. Buy this immediately and put some quality back into your reading life!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Talented New Writer, 13 Feb. 2014
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A great writer. This book is a satisfying selection of stories about how love can take unexpected turns. I'd highly recommend both this writer and this specific book.
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Don't Tell Me the Truth About Love
Don't Tell Me the Truth About Love by Dan Rhodes (Paperback - 5 Jun. 2002)
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