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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Other Worldly
You feel like you can walk into each of the worlds of these stories, they are so instantly alive. In some you wouldn't want to stay too long: not with the sad, grimy repetition of two brothers desperately trying to shag their way to a family reunion or the grieving couple whose garden is as barren as their marriage. You might want to hang around a 19th Century Paris where...
Published 3 months ago by Promethea

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Patchy
It is difficult to sustain quality through a collection of short stories and I'm not sure Kirsty Logan has managed it.

There is one gem of a story - Una and Coll are Not Friends - that shines far brighter than any other story in the collection. It is gentle, subtle, humorous and human. It has a depth and makes one think about the nature of being an outsider...
Published 2 months ago by MisterHobgoblin


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Patchy, 8 May 2014
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MisterHobgoblin (Melbourne) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales (Salt Modern Fiction) (Kindle Edition)
It is difficult to sustain quality through a collection of short stories and I'm not sure Kirsty Logan has managed it.

There is one gem of a story - Una and Coll are Not Friends - that shines far brighter than any other story in the collection. It is gentle, subtle, humorous and human. It has a depth and makes one think about the nature of being an outsider. There are a couple of other interesting stories, particularly the Tiger Palace. Most (but not all) stories have some current of lesbian love. And most seem to have some reference to fairy stories as a genre, although few seem to be readily identifiable to specific stories.

The problem is that the collection is very patchy and, like a 1980s pop album, seems to be mostly filler. Many stories seem to be quirky for its own sake - e.g. the Rental Heart or the Coin Operated Boy - but don't actually seem to go anywhere or have anything to say. Maybe they just didn't press my buttons, but the whole did seem somewhat dull and repetitive. Few of the characters seemed to have much humanity or warmth which tends to further disengage the reader.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Other Worldly, 9 April 2014
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You feel like you can walk into each of the worlds of these stories, they are so instantly alive. In some you wouldn't want to stay too long: not with the sad, grimy repetition of two brothers desperately trying to shag their way to a family reunion or the grieving couple whose garden is as barren as their marriage. You might want to hang around a 19th Century Paris where artificial boyfriends, with geometric bodies, can be hired as the perfect companion for ladies who like things just so. Or you might linger a while on the isle of Skye, to see if the girl with antlers and the boy with a tail will get together, even though they're annoyed at everyone's assumptions that they will, because they're the only two .. well, different ... types around. And you'll almost certainly want to fight your way through the jungle to reach the Tiger Palace, where a magnificent empress sits waiting for an escape and longing for a reason to stay.
Some stories are short and snappy flash fiction, hanging on a neat phrase or a tricksy conceit. Others are longer and deeper, carefully evoking various different worlds, each with its own fantastical logic. But somehow, the atmosphere is fairly consistent throughout: mysterious, sensual, half-in-love with artifice and metaphor but not disguising a sweet sincerity at their (rental) heart.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great collection from a wonderful writer, 9 April 2014
This review is from: The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales (Salt Modern Fiction) (Kindle Edition)
Picked up the paperback version and was hooked as soon as I started reading it. The stories, though different, all contain the same excellent writing and wonderful characters. I particularly loved The Broken West story. I would strongly recommend this to anyone who wants a great collection of stories that take you away from the mundane and into the fantastical, romantic and the truly spectacular.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very mixed, and unrewarding, 4 Jun 2014
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YeahYeahNoh (Willenhall, West Midlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales (Salt Modern Fiction) (Kindle Edition)
I'm a big fan of short stories, so I picked this up for my Kindle in the hope of finding one or two gems.
I concur with Mister Hobgoblin that the real standout is Una and Coll are Not Friends.
Many of the stories had interesting starts, but the whole was not the sum of the potential.
I really struggled to get through it, and it became a chore rather than a pleasure.
Sorry, because I do generally like the genre, and can usually find good things to say about such a collection.
Of course, we all have differing ideas, so if you like the sound of it, don't let me put you off.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Odd stories that fizzle out, 24 May 2014
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EMP "Em" (Wolverhampton) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales (Salt Modern Fiction) (Kindle Edition)
Certainly fires your imagination but they also leave you hanging. I prefer a bit more of a resolution at the end.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful escapism, 4 May 2014
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This review is from: The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales (Salt Modern Fiction) (Kindle Edition)
Not usually a lover of short stories, I was intrigued enough by the front cover and reviews to purchase it ... and I`m glad I did. Surreal, poignant and beautifully written. Really enjoyed every story. Favourite one - Una and Coll are not Friends.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh, interesting collection, 6 April 2014
This review is from: The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales (Salt Modern Fiction) (Kindle Edition)
Bought this for Kindle and really enjoyed it. The stories weave fairytales with a keen observation of human relationships and refreshing ruthlessness, so while the stories are magical, they also feel grounded and human. Interesting mix. Favourite story: The Gracekeeper.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beguiling, clever and brilliantly strange, 18 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales (Salt Modern Fiction) (Kindle Edition)
This is a beautiful and thoughtful collection of modern fairy-tales from the pen of a writer who's sure to be a future star. Variety is a key ingredient for a successful short story collection, and the style and tone vary from wistful to funny to erotic to frightening. Like other reviewers, I loved "Una And Coll Are Not Friends", but there are plenty of other beautiful highlights (I particularly recommend "Coin Operated Boys" and the title story, "The Rental Heart").

If you like fairy-tales as told by Walt Disney, this is probably not the collection for you. If you like fairy-tales and told by Angela Carter, get on and buy this right now.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, 7 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales (Salt Modern Fiction) (Kindle Edition)
Very disappointed in this book. Various weird and wonderful tales with no beginnning, no middle, no end and no sense.
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