17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Very good short story collection,
This review is from: Beggars Banquet (Hardcover)
This is a very good short story collection. Everything about it is first class, from the title and cover design, to the all-important content.
21 stories, 8 of which are Rebus, and all of which are excellent. I prefer the non-Rebus stories, though...the Rebus ones lack something the others contain, and the ones without him are nice and fresh, its good to read Rankin when hes not writing about Rebus. It showcases his talent more, giving us a bigger picture of what he can actually do.
The first story is a good opener, not too complex, with Rebus on good form. The stories that follow vary in their topic and style From the historical story "The Serpents Back", which is excellently written and evokes very well the spirit and atmopshere of old-Edinburgh, to "Glimmer" which is written in a strange, drealike, blunt, shifting style, about 60's culture.
For people who like twists, there are plenty of those to be had, in particular in "Someone's Got To Eddie" and "The Hanged Man" (even if in that one the twist is not very adequately explained)
"The Wider Scheme" also has a great twist, which considering the first line, the reader really should be able to guess. "Unknown Pleasures" is a nice, meandering peace which ably demonstrates the far reaches of crime and its networks. "Herbert In Motion" one of the two CWA Dagger winning stories in this collection (the other being "A Deep Hole") is a very well written story, with a great plot and a nice little sting in it's tail.
All in all, this is a superb collection of stories. Not a single one of them is a dud. They vary in styles and topics, and are all very enjoyable. A very nice offering to tide us over until the release of his next Rebus, "A Question of Blood".
This is a short story collection not to be missed by anyone, fan of Rankin (if you're not yet, why aren't you?) or not.