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on 13 March 2008
If, like me, you avidly scoop up anything by William Boyd you may have wondered how you missed this one being reviewed in the serious papers. The answer is because it is a re-packaging of the "On the Yankee Station" and "The Destiny of Natalie X". But if you haven't already got those then it's a great series of short stories by Boyd.
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on 25 May 2010
I only bought this book for my course at university and I've found a winner. I would never have bought this otherwise but I'm glad I had to.

William Boyd has put together a collection of short stories (all written by him) and as the title suggests, the collection if full of short stories all with the theme of sexual fantasies and the perception of reality. Boyd manages to write short stories with such rigid structure, focus, vivid description, shocking passages that your attention won't waver!

A recommended read for anyone who enjoys their short stories and those who like to read them in one sitting where the first line captures you and holds you till the end.
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on 15 June 2008
Be careful buying this; this is an omnibus edition of Boyd's two earliest short story collections - On The Yankee Station and The Destiny of Nathalie 'X'.

However, this is the only area in which you should exercise caution. This is a truly excellent collection of tales which is wide-ranging in both subject matter and style.

Boyd's style (concise and unsentimental) is perfectly suited to the short story (even better than to the novel I would venture), being able to conjure up another world amazingly quickly and completely.

There is also the added bonus of an introduction by Boyd himself detailing his relationship with the short story form which is very interesting.

For once the cliche 'master storyteller' is more than appropriate. Whatever the price of this collection it's cheap; these stories will linger with you long after you've finished them.
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on 31 July 2011
I thought I'd read everything by William Boyd, so you can imagine my delight when I saw this the other day in a book shop. I just wish I'd had a proper look at it and/or read the reviews here because (as other have pointed out) this volume is actually a repackaging of two previous collections of short stories, On the Yankee Station and The Destiny of Nathalie X.

If you haven't read either of these collections then this is a must buy book. The eponymous Yankee story is probably the darkest thing Boyd has ever written, while Nathalie X contains a wonderful piece entitled Hotel des Voyageurs that is the very first outing of one Logan Mountstuart. However, if you've already got these books, there's no need to buy this volume.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 30 September 2012
This is a collection of short stories made up from William Boyd's previous short story publications 'On the Yankee Station' (1981) and 'The Destiny of Nathalie X' (1995) . if you haven't already read those books this is a worthwhile and enjoyable read. Most of the stories work very well, and most of them are written around the themes of love, desire, and loss. I particularly enjoyed 'On the Yankee Station' and its sequel 'The Coup' and which could have been developed into an excellent novel.

There were however a couple of stories around the last third of the book which didn't appeal to me, with the 'Destiny of Nathalie X' and 'Transfigured Night' being for me the weakest in what is overall a good collection.
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on 23 October 2012
Was in the bookstore, saw a 'new' title by one of my all-time favourite authors, bought it without checking the blurb at the back.
So, ended up with a selection of wonderful short stories, all of which I've already got.
Five stars for the author, minus five stars for the publishers.
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on 2 July 2013
A collection of short stories. Very well written, but all the stories left me feeling a bit unsatisfied. I have read about 70% of the book. I have read Any Human Heart and Restless by William Boyd and enjoyed them both much more.
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on 15 May 2014
I have enjoyed reading William Boyd's novels and admire his story telling skills, but this collection of short stories failed to please. They lacked the finesse of his later writing in terms of substance and the focus on juvenile love bored me. The stories seemed to me to be a collection of ideas that aspiring writers would have written to gain confidence and some experience - but not worthy of publishing in book form in my opinion.
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on 10 March 2013
I bought the Kindle version of these stories, very good value with 24 stories in the volume. Boyd's prose is naturally concise, with nothing superfluous and yet nothing left out, and so the short story is the ideal medium for him. I turned to this collection having read several of his novels, and I was not disappointed.
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on 28 May 2013
I found the characters described in these short stories unconvincing. The men could have been women and the women seemed to be a collection of random female attributes. However the author is very successful so it could be that the book was just not my taste.
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