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7 Reviews
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars She is so good!
This a return to form for Helen Simpson - not that any of her books of short stories are anything short of wonderful - but this spoke to me the way "Hey Yeh Right, Get a Life" did, when I had small children. Pefect short story writing, such an fantastic art form in her hands. Not a word overused, each sentence so thought provoking. Incredible to feel so immersed in the...
Published on 10 Jun. 2011 by Dreamteam

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay but nothing special
Some good stories in here but nothing particularly spectacular. None of them stayed with me or made a significant impact. I recognise that the writing and ideas are good but it just didn't do it for me really.
Published 3 months ago by Shannon Eden


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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars She is so good!, 10 Jun. 2011
This a return to form for Helen Simpson - not that any of her books of short stories are anything short of wonderful - but this spoke to me the way "Hey Yeh Right, Get a Life" did, when I had small children. Pefect short story writing, such an fantastic art form in her hands. Not a word overused, each sentence so thought provoking. Incredible to feel so immersed in the characters lives within a few phrases. I'll remember these little stories for a long time. PS Night Thoughts, published in Granta 115 makes it worth the purchase price alone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simpson is ready for take-off., 29 May 2012
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In-flight entertainment is a collection of short stories by Helen Simpson, regularly held up as one of the best British writer of short stories at present, and it is not hard to see why. This slim volume contains fifteen stories, loosely based around the theme of climate change. So, the title story sees an irritated passenger on a plane insisting to a scientist that flying does not have an impact upon the environment, Ahead of the Pack sees a pitch for funding for carbon footprint reduction, and Diary of an Interesting Year witnesses the aftermath of the climate change tipping point in 2040. Whilst inherently political, she pulls these stories off in a thought-provoking way and without being at all hectoring.

But there are also engaging stories about more mundane matters - whether it is considering how best to dispose of a trapped squirrel, the most efficient way to dump a girlfriend or coping with a new hearing aid. There is a rich vein of wry humour running through these stories which are beautifully crafted. She managed to provide just enough detail to properly sketch out her characters, and there is not a wasted word amongst these stories

This the first book by Simpson that I have read, and I am definitely looking forward to reading the rest of her output.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Varied and enjoyable collection of stories, 5 Sept. 2014
A varied and enjoyable shirt story collection capturing well many foibles of human behaviour. In this volume the focus is on well to do and often middle aged people (though not exclusively - there are a couple about young people) with affluent lifestyles (lots of air miles if you are an academic), second homes, and perhaps second partners tucked away at work.

Several stories touch on climate change - as the unreflective meet true believers or as Simpson imagines a dystopian future. My personal feeling was that some of these stories were more successful, imaginativly, than others. Clearly there are many possible views on what the future could be like. If you read and believe Danny Dorling's book 10 Billion, you won't believe that quite the horrors await that some of these stories assume... But it is good to see a short story writer taking this on.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Deftness, skill and proselytising, 6 Sept. 2013
I have read a couple of Helen Simpson short story collections previously, and enjoyed and admired their precision, gentle humour and sharp observation. 'In-Flight Entertainment' has these qualities too, but they are all a bit supplanted by a more urgent proselytising on the subject of climate change, global degradation and the end of humanity. This is the overt theme of several of the stories. Their effect was to make me nervous, while at the same time admiring Simpson's deftness and skill in the short story form.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laugh out loud intelligent short stories, 20 May 2011
This collection is the best I've read in years, Simpson is insightful, hilarious and thought-provoking. A MUST-BUY, there is something for everyone in these stories.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Okay but nothing special, 28 Dec. 2014
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Some good stories in here but nothing particularly spectacular. None of them stayed with me or made a significant impact. I recognise that the writing and ideas are good but it just didn't do it for me really.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars, 22 Feb. 2015
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Didn't finish it
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