‘Nattily subversive, sexually ambiguous, intelligent and disturbing. The prose sizzles with acidic observation.’ Sunday Times
‘Not one of these eleven stories is a dud. All of them are concerned with the fallout that occurs when soft-focussing fantasy collides with hard-nosed reality. The lingering after-effects “lie on the sweeter side of bleak”. Witty, moving and very much alive.’ Time Out
‘Gale has long been a master of short fiction. So it comes as no surprise to find that his first collection of stories shows him to be an adept of the art … the form utilises all his strengths of acute observation, gentle wit and humane acceptance of human diversity … Wit and wisdom, metaphor and moment constantly combine to delight.’ The Times
‘Patrick Gale revels in absurd risks. It’s the promise of an unexpected, and potentially implausible outcome that entices you into his stories. The prose sizzles with acidic observations.’ Independent on Sunday
‘Gale is a master of character, and he slips under the skins of his women protagonists with such wit that it’s often hard to believe he’s a man. From the misplaced passions of a jilted writer these fresh, clear-headed stories are reminiscent of Gale’s back catalogue of acclaimed novels.’ Elle
‘Gale pins down the pain of love and leaving and the no-man’s-land between the apparently real and the illusory. He writes of uncertain memories and threatened loyalties and, in Dressing Up In Voices, of a couple whose passionate, inevitable break-up is traced with unrelenting accuracy.’ Scotland on Sunday
From the Back Cover
Curious childhood loyalties, long-hidden memories, newly discovered joys, startling secrets, dislocated relationships, overwhelming, thrilling passions. In prose which is vivid and fresh, Patrick Gale explores the subtle boundaries that shift between the fantastic and shockingly real. With characteristic insight and wit and with consummate ease, he draws the reader into lives both familiar and strange, revealing a world that shines with possibilities and will never fail to delight.
"The stories deal with revelation, with what people can become given the right set of circumstances and with the danger that comes with change. Sparky stuff."
"Delightful… the collection includes a Barbara Pym-ish skit about the denizens of a cathedral close, a cautionary tale of a bad tempered girl who gets locked in a wardrobe, and the story of a long-suffering wife who decides its her turn to receive oral sex."
He excels at capturing emotion and deals poignantly with universal themes of love, loss and embarrassment."
"Wit and wisdom, metaphor and moment constantly combine to delight."