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Gentleman’s Relish Paperback – 29 Apr 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate (29 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007313462
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007313464
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 394,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

‘Dark, witty and often obliquely moving, these are tales of difficult fathers and gay sons, of lonely wives and random or deliberate acts of violence … Gale is interested in power and the lack of it and his stories pull the reader in unexpected ways, offering worlds that are far from certain and where love or its absence can never be predicted'
CAROL ANN DUFFY, Sunday Telegraph

'The short story form suits Gale's ability to zoom in on the smallest nuances of a relationship'
KATE SAUNDERS, Times

'The stories confirm Gale's ability to exploit the short story genre's capacity to deliver a caffeinated hit … [they] showcase his capacity for combining a light touch and a macabre sense of humour with an understated strength of human feeling'
Metro

'Gale's writing is sharply evocative …[he] writes with such humanity and warmth in his novels that it comes as a surprise that these short stories are told in a different, darker voice'
CARLA MCKAY, Daily Mail

'Gentleman's Relish is a hugely enjoyable collection which proves that the short story is still very much alive … Gale has a distinctive sense of humour and it is not unusual for something sinister to be lurking beneath the apparently unruffled and genteel surface of his narrative … the stories in Gentleman's Relish adroitly utilise carefully observed details as the background to events that cause the reader to give a delicious shudder of horror at story's end'
PETER BURTON, Daily Express

'It provides further evidence of Gale's stylistic deftness, insight and wonderfully eclectic range of interests … Even as rural life and perspectives dominate, other stories consistently tease out fresh territory… worth every penny'
RICHARD CANNING, Independent

‘Vivid, believable characters … Gale has a light touch with social commentary but the undertones are often menacing'
Times Literary Supplement

About the Author

Patrick Gale was born on the Isle of Wight in 1962. He spent his infancy at Wandsworth Prison, which his father governed, then grew up in Winchester. He now lives on a farm near Land's End. His sixteen novels include The Whole Day Through, the Richard & Judy bestseller Notes From an Exhibition and his most recent, A Perfectly Good Man. You can find out more on his website www.galewarning.org.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A well written book of short stories, each with a mild twist. The writing style is good, but the endings of each of the stories was almost a let-down. The promotional material for the book suggests various levels of dramatic twists, but they are more twee than thought provoking.
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Format: Hardcover
By Patrick's own admission short stories are not a popular medium. That surprises me although I have several friends, including my father, who are avid readers and they don't enjoy short stories. I would have expected them to work very well for today's society with short attention spans and desire for quick, instant fixes. They don't need a huge investment and can be read in short snatches of time without needing to remember what happened before - perfect if you don't have a lot of time to spend reading.

In terms of Gentlemen's Relish, Patrick's second set of short stories after Dangerous Pleasures published 10 years ago, it is a fabulous collection. The short story format gives Patrick the opportunity to explore his dark side and includes wonderful ghost stories and some unsettling tales of the macabre that are, in turns, deliciously wicked and chilling. These are accompanied by heart warming and humorous tales of people and relationships.

It's hard to pick a favourite but Freedom and Gentlemen's Relish were particularly lovely, the latter could easily have been the opening chapter to a fabulous novel but also had a completeness in its own right. Saving Space is the best of the chillers. If you don't usually go for short stories this is a great place to start, something for everyone and Patrick's fans certainly won't be disappointed.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am not a great fan of short stories and although I am a big fan of Patrick Gale (I have read most of his books) this didn't change my mind.
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Format: Paperback
I’ve really enjoyed some of the author’s novels but I thought this collection of short stories to be quite slight. There were only two stories that I would have liked to have read more about. For most of the others, when finished, it was a case of feeling “was that it?”

I expected more and thought the book somewhat disappointing.
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Format: Hardcover
I find it difficult to understand people who say they love reading but refuse to try short stories. After all, sometimes I like having a starter, main course and dessert at a restaurant but at other times a snack at home hits just the spot just as well. And so it is with this latest volume of short stories by celebrated author Patrick Gale. To his credit the sixteen stories in this volume cover a range of genres (from horror and suspense through twist in the tale stories to more contemplative character-driven stories).

Having read four of Patrick Gale's novels I was delighted to discover a darker, more sinister side to his writing in these tales. But fear not fans - in all the stories in this collection his ability to create believable characters in a short space of time is always very much in evidence.

Without giving too much away, I just wanted to highlight a couple of the stories that really stood out for me:
THE LESSON - a housewife, emotionally and physically isolated through her husband's job, strikes up a relationship with a prisoner
COOKERY - a young man's skills in the kitchen equip him with unexpected but necessary skills meaning he is never short of a culinary solution or two when life throws a spanner in the works
PETALS ON A POOL - a case of mistaken identity provides an author with the opportunity to travel to 'heaven on earth' but is this other eden all it's cracked up to be?
THE EXCURSION - a susceptible woman is convinced to leave her "softly softly" church in favour of one which is certainly not love-thy-neighbour. Dark and VERY funny!

The stories here are brilliant examples of what the short story form can offer us -a world we can dip into for a short but memorable time. So what are you waiting for? Come on - give short stories a go!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed these short stories. They seemed particularly personal in their settings, a prison, farms and Cornwall. Patrick Gale's love of cooking, animals, family and relationships were also in evidence. Quite surprising, then, just how dark some of these tales are. Not at all light and fluffy.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not as enjoyable as I had hoped, rather poor in fact
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very enjoyable selection of short stories from a top writer. Some are teasingly short, all are thought provoking, and most leave you wanting more - but that's the name of the game. One of my favourite writers.
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