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This Isn't The Sort Of Thing That Happens To Someone Like You Hardcover – 2 Feb 2012

3.7 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 262 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing; 1st edition (2 Feb. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408809265
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408809266
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 213,015 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

Jon McGregor's stories are strange and lovely masterpieces: painfully authentic, inquisitive rather than confrontational, he has a tremendous ability to disturb the surface of everyday things. In this collection the vast skies and silts of the Lincolnshire fens are sensually evoked and the austerely beautiful landscape exposes the most intimate details of his characters' lives; their secrets, their crimes and desires. Underneath that which is radically quotidian, he captures our unique and unusual selves (Sarah Hall)

Pure joy just about sums up Jon McGregor's collection of short stories ... McGregor's genius keeps you on the edge of your seat until the penultimate paragraph ... McGregor is the nearest thing you will ever come across to a literary Beethoven. Words go beyond beings tools of his trade and become an orchestrated, inspired and precisely designed tone poem for each creative idea ... One of the most perfect pieces of written English I have ever come across (Sunday Express)

Set in and around the fens, these wickedly brilliant stories are as black as the local soil ... Jon McGregor's direct, unadorned style couldn't be more suited to this comfortless landscape, a place of cooling towers, drainage ditches and endless skies ... Throughout, omissions and ellipses set the mind racing like a treacherous tide, rushing in to fill the gaps. Not a book for bedtime, then. But very, very good indeed (Daily Mail)

Fans of his novels, in which he has finessed his own inimitable style, won't be disappointed. They will find all the linguistic risk, the formal experimentation, the authorial compassion of his earlier works - and more ... To the anxious literary festival audience member - and anyone else feeling downcast about the state of the short story today - I say, read Jon McGregor's new book. Its verve, its inventiveness, its sheer quiet audacity will reassure you that the short story is alive, well and reaching new heights (Maggie O'Farrell Guardian)

Sharp, dark and hugely entertaining, this collection establishes McGregor as one of the most exciting voices in short fiction (Alex Preston Observer)

McGregor's writing is so distinctive that it becomes hard to compare to another. There is a precision and a poetry to his prose. Life, inner and outer, is so meticulously dissected that events appear to happen in slow motion. There is, in these brooding stories, that same sense of impending cataclysm that gave his debut, If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things, its intrigue (Independent)

Jon McGregor writes with frightening intelligence and impeccable technique. Every page is a revelation (Teju Cole)

Jon McGregor's short stories exude tension from the merest glimpse of his characters' deceptively everyday existences ... A writer alive to the lithe life of language ... A huge talent (Sunday Times)

A striking collection ... the prose is picked clean, pellucid (Sunday Telegraph)

McGregor's prose is as sparse as the countryside it has alighted on, with barely a simile or metaphor in sight (Literary Review)

There is a lot to chew over and a lot that stays in the mind (Psychologies)

For those of us who like pared-back prose, McGregor is a modern master at the art (Scotsman)

A master at work in this genre ... brilliantly unnerving (Irish Times)

These unnerving splinters depicting ordinary people in crisis, often against the fathomless landscape of the Fens, make for an outstanding collection from a great writer (Metro)

If you open a page at random in any one of Jon McGregor's three novels to date, you will find, lurking in every line, a haunting, poetic voice - one that creates a menacing sense of tension through a series of carefully placed absences and blank spaces ... stories from the edges of everyday life, strewn with the type of events that are often ignored, or at best shooed away, and almost always thought of as the vagaries of other people and never things that might happen to us ... This collection is McGregor's most lyrical work to date, and some of the shorter stories in the collection, such as "Dig a Hole", "Feeling Complexity" and "Thoughtful" , read like bursts of intense prose poetry ... a work of tremendous scope and ambition. It confirms McGregor's standing as an important contemporary voice - and one that has acquired its importance by speaking of life on the periphery (Times Literary Supplement)

Perfectly poised and incisive (Daily Telegraph)

This collection of short stories set in bleak fenland landscape confirms Jon McGregor as one of our most brilliant and imaginative prose stylists ... Although his style differs with the demands of each piece, his writing is unadorned, often informal and experimental (Daily Telegraph)

Book Description

Tender, sad, funny, and riveting, this is an astonishing collection of work by one of Britain's finest contemporary writers

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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 7 March 2012
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