Top positive review
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Interesting to read five completely different stories
on 29 December 2013
The five 2013 winners of an annual BBC short story competition are in this book. Mariella Frostrup was the chairman of the judging panel and has written an introduction, reminding us all of the value of a good short story.
Barmouth - one family's history told through their annual caravan holidays. First person narrative works well and communicates the sadness and hope. This is a big story told conservatively using clever evocative hints, with time passing almost unnoticed. There is something here for everyone to recognise.
We are watching something terrible happening - this one lost me completely. It was very ethereal and seemed to be trying to put a relationship breakdown into a post apocalyptic setting.
Mrs Fox - oddly there is a Kafka feel to this story. It is interesting to read the metamorphosis of the character but I found it difficult to relate to or enjoy (actually the same reaction I had when I read Kafka).
Prepositions - this Lionel Shriver story is the reason I bought this book, the concept of which fascinates me, and I was not disappointed. It is a letter from a New York widow whose husband died on 9/11 to a widow whose husband died in 9/11 (one letter but massive difference) talking about the effect this prepositions had on their grief process.
Notes from the house spirits - self explanatory title as the story is narrated by some sort of ghostly being attached to a house. Overtime we hear about the various people moving in and out along with changes to the structure of the home. I enjoyed this one.
Overall, I really enjoyed 3, one I was undecided about and one I didn't enjoy at all - not bad!