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Balancing on the Edge of the World (Salt Modern Fiction) Paperback – 1 Oct 2007
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For 'Star Things' Almost ethereal in its strangeness and has great energy at its heart.--Brendan O'Keefe "Literary Review "
Elizabeth Baines has a wry humour and satirical edge.--Martin Nicholls "City Life "
About The Birth Machine An increasingly powerful narrative ... its presentation of the world of childhood contrasts nicely with a sharp satire.--Laura Marcus "Times Literary Supplement "
About The Birth Machine This powerful book leaves you with a sense of disquiet, anger and frustration [and] the realisation ... that what you have just read is an everyday story about an everyday event. As such it is very clever.--Jessica Corner "Everywoman "
About The Birth Machine: A gripping story, a pithy book.--Katie Campbell "City Limits "
'A stunning debut collection'See all Product description
Top customer reviews
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on 17 December 2008
Balancing on the Edge of the World employs a very high standard of writing indeed and I enjoyed it very much. The themes are the relationship between people and the power they hold (or the lack of it) - very human tales indeed. Particular favourites are Condensed Metaphysics (jazzy, edgy and strong), Holding Hands (a powerful tale of family dynamics and frailty - though Baines should have ended it 3 paragraphs earlier as the end line actually appears at the close of the 4th paragraph in from the finish, to my mind), Into the Night (a great erotic encounter which might or might not turn out to be more) and Condundrum (a wry look at child-rearing through the generations). I'd definitely read more of this author.
on 14 September 2008
It's all too easy for short stories to read as something very slight - either as tales which don't have a strong enough backbone to support a bigger plot, or as bits of poetry in prose form which delight in the rhythm of words over meaning or point. What makes Elizabeth Baines' collection so brilliant - and why, no doubt, it was deservedly nominated recently for an international award - is that she perfectly plays with both the page-turning quality of novel's fiction, and a crafted beauty you usually only associate with verse. These are stories concerned with 'power', in all its forms - whether it be the hilarious tale of a naive screenwriter and the way her fledgeling script is abused by a film course, or the magical superhuman powers of a young child ignored by the numbing reality of parents getting divorced. They're funny, and moving, and thoughtful - but above all, they're short stories which celebrate how beguiling short stories can be. Read and be enchanted.
on 25 July 2009
Baines write stories that demand to be emotionally and philosophically engaged with. Flights of introspective narrative blur the edges of the 'complete picture' with flashes of intense human understanding, rewarding us with a platform to question and react.
on 8 July 2009
Well, I loved this book. I read a lot of short stories and when this was recommended to me by a friend for its range and variety I bought a copy straight away. And I couldn't agree more! The stories cover a lot of territory, in terms of style and subject, but what holds them together is the author's intelligence - emotional and creative - and a sense of actually being in touch with the world. These stories tell you more about who we are and how we live than a dozen big fat novels. If you like short stories, you should certainly get a copy of this book. If you think you don't like short stories, you should get two - one to surprise yourself with and one to give to someone else!
on 3 October 2012
This is an accomplished and stimulating collection put together from many years worth of previously published short stories. Perhaps because of this - although they demonstrate a wide range of styles - they read not as experiments but the natural and honest end results of someone who is unafraid to explore the limits and possibilties of the form. Great stuff...