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Balancing on the Edge of the World (Salt Modern Fiction) Paperback – 1 Oct 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 108 pages
  • Publisher: Salt Publishing (1 Oct. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844713946
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844713943
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 0.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,422,124 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

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 "

Review

'A stunning debut collection'

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Paperback
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.
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