Obodom: A Short Story Collection

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Buy now. The work here show she is anything but a one hit wonder. These are creepy, dark, nasty little tales that are brilliantly executed, leaving the reader unmoored somewhere between nervous and totally freaked out. The first story — of a couple who use sex to emotionally torture a vulnerable house guest is shocking, and yet we knew it was coming. She pushes the form of the traditional fairy tale — writing of a queen who essentially falls in love with herself disguised inside an actual load of old rubbish. She leaves plenty of things unsaid, asking readers to let their own minds fill in the blanks.

These stories might seem disparate in terms of tone, style, subject matter and even voice — but when you look closely, you see that they are all telling the story of women in modern life. Women who are by turns angry, imperfect, guilty and repulsive. And it feels so relatable. Yet this is a set of unnerving, creepy and otherworldly stories where you second guess what to take literally. Armfield has the ability to make the surreal feel typical — her storytelling is so assured that you accept her backdrops and characters — from a Catholic schoolgirl who morphs into a huge predatory insect and devours a boy to the personification of sleep — without question.

She wore green velvet loafers year round, pinned her hair in the shape of a pumpkin, spoke like her molars were made of glass.

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Never judge a book by its cover, right? Because this cover with its hazy rainbow smear and trite title, seems totally incongruous to its contents — which are clever, unusual and highly original.


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Hughes-Hallett has taken characters from ancient mythology, fable and folklore and dragged them kicking and screaming into the here and now. She retells these stories against this modern backdrop. At the end of the book is a section in which Hughes-Hallett summarises the fables from which she derived the stories retold in Fabulous. You might find yourself comparing the two tellings of the same tale, noticing how Hughes-Hallett treats certain elements — how she molds them to suit her new story.

This certainly adds another layer of appreciation for what is already excellent writing. His boss is called Diana — and Diana was, in ancient mythology, a goddess who was stared at as she bathed in the nude by an ill-fated hunter. This is a strange and rather brilliant collection — and if you knew nothing about fable or myth before, your appetite will be well and truly whet.


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These stories are all set in and around the favelas of Rio de Janiero, and are all told from the perspective of boys coming of age there. Race and class are central themes here, although the stories are also of love and family and friendships. The dialect is colloquial, urban and with an exclusive subtext. This is a language of secrecy — the verbal code used by the subculture of the streets.

Each story differs in tone and style — so much so that you wonder if they really have come from the same author.

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But what binds the tales here is the voice — with its street-smart bravado, bitter edge and an emotional intelligence that proves compelling. Martins handles masculinity and fragility with equal commitment.

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In the conflicting imagery of drugs, guns and butterflies, readers are made to appreciate the importance and weight that each object holds within the pages of this slim but substantial volume. She takes premises that are at the least surreal, at most ridiculous, and weaves compelling, tight and confident prose around them with an awesome vocabulary. In a later story, we meet Cillian who falls in love with an Iron Age body, who has been preserved in peaty bog for some 2, years.

Gal-dem , the award-winning online and print magazine created by women and non-binary people of colour, have released this volume in which contributing writers use raw materials from their youth as a tool for giving advice to their younger selves.

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Although more personal essay than short fiction, these stories — poignant, thought provoking, sad and funny on topics as varied as sexuality, power and family — are deserving of the widest possible audience. These stories, concerned as they are with motherhood — longing and waiting for motherhood, mothering, being mothered — are for everyone.

The collection opens with the tale of a woman who is trying without success to be a mother when her younger sister, who has never much coveted parenthood, deliberates over whether to go ahead with her unexpected pregnancy. Far from abstract euphemisms, her stories confront the stark, often shocking realities of miscarriage and abortion with brutal detail.

These are quotidian, universal stories. She captures what it is to be a mother, a would-be mother, an almost mother or a not-mother with such clever perceptiveness making the stories recognisable, familiar and strangely comforting. Clever and strange, these stories move from America to China and back again, with themes of identity, privilege and race. This deliciously fat collection gives the reader the chance to dip in and out of one of the best observers of human behaviour. Moore is notable for her arch tone and her sharp humour. But what makes her special is the way she can shift so smoothly to gut-wrenching poignancy.

She writes about terminal illness, family dynamics and infidelity with equal fluency. Some of the best short stories contain unexpected moments of felicity on which the plot pivots. And so it was that, just as I was compiling this list, I received a giant package containing this doorstep of a book.

It might be the most comprehensive collection of short stories… ever, featuring an all-star cast including Angela Carter, Charles Dickens, Roald Dahl and more, selected by David Miller, a literary agent and author. Facebook Twitter Pinterest. Topics Short stories The 10 best Restricted Access. Add to Cart. Have an Access Token? Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

25 New Short Story Collections To Read This Summer

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