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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating interplay between humanity and science
This collection of short stories takes as its theme the edgy and sometimes difficult relationship between humanity and science. There is a great deal of energy about the stories, as well as a strong and distinctive voice. Not all main characters are sympathetic but, then again, they're not meant to be - and each one does have a gripping issue to raise or an arresting tale...
Published on 27 Dec 2008 by Ms. A. Brooke

versus
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unrisen soufflees
Looked forward to this book since I am an avid short story fan and the best thing about these short stories is that they're short. Global warming, obesity morality tales, fat girls get married too - the subjects are largely upbeat and contemporary and pad along just fine. But their striving for difference, quirkiness and a kind of "isn't this weird" flavour gets in the...
Published on 12 July 2011 by Lulubeth


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating interplay between humanity and science, 27 Dec 2008
By 
Ms. A. Brooke "Anne Brooke" (Godalming, Surrey) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The White Road and Other Stories (Salt Modern Fiction) (Paperback)
This collection of short stories takes as its theme the edgy and sometimes difficult relationship between humanity and science. There is a great deal of energy about the stories, as well as a strong and distinctive voice. Not all main characters are sympathetic but, then again, they're not meant to be - and each one does have a gripping issue to raise or an arresting tale to tell.

My favourites amongst the collection tended to be the longer stories where both character and situation were allowed to live and breathe a little - during some of the shorter/one page tales, I personally felt that interesting scenarios were being unnecessarily curtailed and I would have liked to have known more. It would certainly be fascinating to see some of those very short pieces given a longer life - this author knows how to create character and story, and it's therefore a shame not to use that talent to the full.

That said, it's a very worthwhile collection - special mention has to go to the title story, The White Road (a tale of loss, grief and decisive action - and my personal favourite in the book), Heavy Bones (flash fiction about the start of a marriage that really works and shows not all stories have to be sad), On A Roll (where sacrifice brings about hope and the possibility of a new life), and Express (where the mysteries of language uncover a forgotten history).

Definitely a thought-provoking read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short but perfectly formed :-), 5 Feb 2010
By 
T. Murray (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The White Road and Other Stories (Salt Modern Fiction) (Paperback)
This collection of occasionally very short stories transported me away from the grimness of a hospital waiting room and off to a myriad of other worlds. The tantalising glimpses of many different lives were perfect to dip in and out of (although, in truth, I read the whole book in one sitting - it was a long wait!). The snippets of science intrigued me and coupled with Tania Hershman's beautiful prose made for a spellbinding read. I thoroughly recommend this to anyone who loves original and thought-provoking story-telling.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking stories, 31 Aug 2009
This review is from: The White Road and Other Stories (Salt Modern Fiction) (Paperback)
Each story is short and the whole book is short, but post-reading thinking time is long. For me, that's the beauty of this collection. I didn't want to know the characters any better. I wanted to let each story stimulate thoughts of my own, to let my imagination take off from where the story ended and to relate the story to my own outlook on life. And I wasn't disappointed.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Science and fiction melded, 19 Mar 2009
By 
Brian Clegg "Brian Clegg" (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The White Road and Other Stories (Salt Modern Fiction) (Paperback)
There's a great idea behind this collection of short stories. Many of them take an item from New Scientist magazine - a hot snippet of science - and use that as the starting point for a short story. These stories often aren't what you'd describe as science fiction, they're just great short fiction inspired by a scientific theme.

Not every story appealed to me - but I've never yet read a story collection where one did, even from great masters of the genre like Gene Wolfe. I really don't understand why short story collections aren't more popular in our soundbite age. They're a great way to get some fiction in bite-sized chunks. Sometimes - and this is certainly true of Tania Hershman's work - they're poetic.

A great collection.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read collection, a beautiful thing, 5 July 2011
By 
Alison Wells (Bray, Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The White Road and Other Stories (Salt Modern Fiction) (Paperback)
A collection of short stories is a tricky thing. The reader needs to get a sense of the writer's unique voice and residual personality and style but without the stories running into sameness. In The White Road and other stories Tania Hershman accomplishes this masterfully. The collection is inspired by articles from science magazines but Tania, a former science journalist, creates her own utterly original and often beautifully surreal interpretations of the science prompt. From the striking title story to the magically unusual Rainstiffiness, each story has something unexpected and weirdly wonderful.

One of Hershman's many fortes is her characterization. There are a range of diverse and memorable characters who linger in the imagination long after the book is read. Two of my favourites were the title characters in Evie and the Arfids and The Incredible Exploding Victor.

For me, as both reader and writer, flash fiction done well has - more than other types of fiction - the greatest potential for joy. To tell a story that is complete and which moves in a few words is a great skill on the part of the writer and for the reader is enthralling. In this collection, some of whose pieces are very short indeed, Tania Hershman demonstrates that skill to a high degree. Each story has its own internal rightness but the collection as a whole has a wonderful breadth and variety. Every story feels like a gift, like spun sugar or the amazing confectionery creations of 'Self-Raising' with its extraordinary climax, Hershman similarly makes fabulous things out of ideas and words, always asking 'what if?'. As a reader I read in open-mouthed awe and joy, as a writer I writhed with envy. This is a must read collection.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A treat to read, 7 Sep 2008
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This review is from: The White Road and Other Stories (Salt Modern Fiction) (Paperback)
This slim volume with its stunningly photographed cover contains stories with colour, life, passion, precision and pathos. The shortest is just half a page but it packs a terrific punch. You could read the whole collection in one sitting but I recommend taking your time, allowing the stories to sink in, get under your skin and sing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fabulous read, 16 April 2012
I had this book in my "to read" pile and I wish I'd got to it sooner. This is a fabulous collection of short stories, with so many memorable stories that will linger vividly in my mind for a long time, both for the creative tales that I enjoyed reading, to the beautiful prose they contained. Don't wait to read this one!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unrisen soufflees, 12 July 2011
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This review is from: The White Road and Other Stories (Salt Modern Fiction) (Paperback)
Looked forward to this book since I am an avid short story fan and the best thing about these short stories is that they're short. Global warming, obesity morality tales, fat girls get married too - the subjects are largely upbeat and contemporary and pad along just fine. But their striving for difference, quirkiness and a kind of "isn't this weird" flavour gets in the way of this reader caring much. Stories this short need to bite and these lack teeth. The speech of characters is particularly cooky - fragments of speech that never make full sentences of every occasion and protracted elipses get wearing. Sorry.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tender-Hearted Stories, 29 July 2009
This review is from: The White Road and Other Stories (Salt Modern Fiction) (Paperback)
Hershman writes with a clear-sighted attitude, expressive tenderness and utter originality. Her flash fiction is palpable, trembling in the moment. The author is a modern master of literary fiction and I would defy any reader to buy The White Road and read without being drawn in to the very last page.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love, love, love it, 27 Mar 2009
By 
E. Jacobs (Jerusalem) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The White Road and Other Stories (Salt Modern Fiction) (Paperback)
I love, love, love this book. In my whole life i have re-read maybe 2 or 3 books. I am looking forward to re-reading The White Road. It's like poetry without the pain. Some of my favorites are the Arfids and the story of Victor (so beautiful) and firsts (gorgeous and 7-dimensional!), the heart story and Go Away (ouch!).
i also LOVE the format of a 2 paragraph story. So often I've had an image I wanted to convey as a poem but couldn't torture the words out of my fingers but this format is so perfect!
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The White Road and Other Stories (Salt Modern Fiction)
The White Road and Other Stories (Salt Modern Fiction) by Tania Hershman (Paperback - 8 Sep 2008)
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