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Pre-War House and Other Stories, The Hardcover – 15 May 2013

5.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: SALT PUBLISHING (15 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1907773509
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907773501
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 349,328 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

There is an insistent, rhythmic quality to Moore's writing, and a dark imagination at work. -- Genevieve Fox Daily Mail Many of the themes centre around family, relationships, loss, and uncertainty. Some of the stories create a sense of claustrophobia as the characters become trapped in situations beyond their control. Each piece has its own unique style but the thread weaving through the collection is an intangible sense of anticipation. It is a delicious read and, having read some of the stories a few times, it is something I will keep going back to. A remarkable debut collection which comes highly recommended. -- F.C. Malby The level of accomplishment on display in this bleak narrative is remarkable. Moore is not, however, a beginner. She has been publishing short stories since 2000, and that apprenticeship shaped her first novel. Now she has published a collection of her stories, and it turns out to be just as uncompromising and unsettling as The Lighthouse ... Moore's distinctive voice commands exceptional power. -- Dinah Birch The Guardian [A]lmost every story works beautifully and Moore is clearly a master of the short form writing. They are atmospheric, often sad and dark, and weighed down my memory. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the final story with gives the collection its title. This is a longer piece than most of the others, as a daughter sells the family home which stirs memories of a surprising life within the four, pre-war walls of the house. The Bookbag Evocative and sinister, it builds relentlessly to its inevitable unwanted climax. Impressive and memorable. -- Merric Davidson The New Writer It should come as no surprise that The Pre-War House is a controlled and powerful piece of prose fiction, coming as it does from an author whose debut novel features on the recently released Man Booker 2012 [shortlist]. -- Dan Powell

About the Author

Alison Moore's first novel, The Lighthouse, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Awards (New Writer of the Year), winning the McKitterick Prize. Both The Lighthouse and her second novel, He Wants, were Observer Books of the Year. Her shorter fiction has been included in Best British Short Stories and Best British Horror anthologies, broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra and collected in The Pre-War House and Other Stories. Born in Manchester in 1971, she lives near Nottingham with her husband Dan and son Arthur.


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Format: Hardcover
Alison Moore's "Pre-War House" is a collection of 24 short stories, only three of which are original to this collection, but most were first published in the last couple of years and, unless you are a an avid reader of "The New Writer" they will probably all be new to you. Moore's themes tend to concentrate on fairly dark characters, usually with a hidden secret, and more often that not dealing with the past and frequently some kind of personal loss or anguish. If you enjoyed Moore's Booker Prize shortlisted "The Lighthouse", you will find plenty to enjoy here as most of the stories have a similar hauntingly sad feel to them. With one possible exception, a very short piece called "The Yacht Man" which did nothing for me, the stories are beautifully judged and equally satisfying, often saving a final hit or a surprise until the end of the pieces.

The only very slight reservation I have over this book is that, as a collection rather than a set of stories intended to go together, it is probably better to dip into it and read two or three at a time rather than reading the book from cover to cover. Many, though not all, of the pieces are of similar length and construction and so after a while it becomes a little repetitive. This is compounded by the order of the stories. Whoever has complied the collection has, perhaps understandably, chosen to put stories with recurring themes next to each other - the sea for example - and until the last third of the book my sense was that it was crying out for a little more variation. The final stories though are more varied - perhaps that is their "theme" - and as a collection, it would benefit from some of these sprinkled earlier in the book in my view.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is a unique collection of short stories. All of them are beautifully crafted and I personally loved the realism from the descriptive passages.
The characters were great and each had nuances that made them distinct and memorable.

Make sure you give this a read if you love short stories!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Layers of the past are hidden under leaves, under snow, under the earth. They are revealed with care and precision, pulling the reader deep into the souls of the characters in these exquisitely crafted stories.

At first the surface above the undisturbed secrets ripples and shudders. The process of peeling is gradual and relentless until the stark truth is bared and the reader gasps at the revelations, at the despair and at the quiet hope that remains.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Beautifully written, intriguing, and often powerful collection of stories by the author of 'The Lighthouse'. You can see her exploring some of the ideas and approaches that she would later develop in that work.

Would definitely recommend for both the casual reader and anyone with an interest in the short form.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I come back to these stories again and again. I still find something new.
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