The Opposite of Loneliness

The Opposite of Loneliness

Author: Marina Keegan
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Star Rating: 4/5
Date Read: August 1st to 5th, 2014
Read Count: 1
Thank you to the publisher for sending me this copy. This did not influence my review in any way.

The Opposite of Loneliness is an affecting collection of stories and essays by Marina Keegan, who died tragically in a car accident only five days after her graduation from Yale. She was already an accomplished writer and left behind a whole catalogue of work, as young budding writers collate. In her memory, her family, friends and teachers put together nine stories and nine essays for this book, titled The Opposite of Loneliness, also the title of an essay she wrote about leaving Yale.

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Trust and Treachery: Tales of Power and Intrigue

Editor: Day Al-Mohamed and Meriah L. Crawford
Publisher: Dark Quest Books
Star Rating: 3/5
Date Read: July 3rd to 7th, 2014
Thank you to the publishers for providing this ebook in exchange for an honest review. This did not alter my review in any way.

Trust and Treachery is an anthology of short stories, showing some of the best and worst of human nature. Stories of betrayal and mislaid trust abound in this collection that spans across a variety of authors, genres and worlds. One moment you are reading about intergalactic space travel between planets and the relations between their inhabitants, the next the double life of a travelling salesman. This book has got it all, providing something for everyone. But individually, it will probably only have a little for you. Continue reading

The Wars Of Heaven

Author: Richard Currey
Publisher: Santa Fe Writer’s Project
Star Rating: 3.5/5
Date Read: May 26th, 2014
Thank you to LibraryThing and the author for providing me with a copy of this book.

The Wars of Heaven is a book of short stories and also the novella ‘The Love of a Good Woman’, in which Currey paints a picture of working class America in the twenties and thirties. He tells the story of the every day – the marriage of a train engineer to a younger woman, the life and loss of coal miners, the wanderings of an epileptic man, a young boy whose birth robs his father of the love of his life, a robber who finds himself in a snowballing misunderstanding and finally in ‘The Love of a Good Woman’ we meet Delbert Keene, who could have been given his own novel. These people live, love a bit and they suffer too much as they work their way through life.

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The Blue Bedroom And Other Stories

Author: Rosamunde Pilcher
Publisher: Hodder
Star Rating: 4/5
Date Read: May 5th to May 8th, 2014
Not everyone can write short stories well. It takes a different kind of skill, I think. You haven’t got a couple of hundred pages to write an epic story and develop brilliant characters. You only have maybe twenty pages to tell a story and introduce characters in a way that leaves an impression, then you have to leave those characters behind for a new story. It takes a different sort of reader, too, to appreciate the brilliance of the stories.

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The Mysterious Mr. Quin

Author: Agatha Christie
Publisher: Fontana
Star Rating: 5/5
Date Read: September 17th to 18th, 2013
Read Count: 1
Well that may just have been the best of Agatha Christie that I have read in my short life! I stayed up to finish it and write this review even though I’m dead tired and my eyes are falling out of my head.

I am yet to meet an Agatha Christie book I didn’t like (I hope the day never comes) but this collection of short stories starring the charming, lovable Mr. Satterthwaite and the strange relationship he holds with the elusive Mr. Quin has really stood out for me above most of the others that I’ve read. It may be because it was a book of short stories rather than a novel and so presented a different way of exploring the ever-changing cast of characters. Or maybe it simply is just the best of her writing.

Mr. Quin was fascinating. At one point I almost convinced myself he was nothing but a figment of Mr. Satterthwaite’s imagination until I remembered that he had spoken to and interacted with other characters. It was interesting that just the mere association of something with Mr. Quin brought out all of Mr. Satterthwaite’s deducing abilities, that he really had just amassed from being an observer of the people he knew – and sometimes didn’t know. But I guess that was the point. Just from ‘knowing’ Mr. Quin – that’s implying that Mr. Quin really did exist, because I’m still doubtful – Mr. Satterthwaite found a way to participate in all the drama of life, to solve mysteries that had mystified others, right past wrongs and save the innocent accused from being condemned. However, I still feel like, particularly once I’d reached the end of ‘Harlequin’s Lane’, that there was more to it and Dame Christie’s genius has just gone straight over my head. I am not afraid to admit I’m wrestling with that last story.

I was glad to read somewhere the both Mr. Quin and Mr. Satterthwaite make appearances in other Christie short stories/novels. I won’t be forgetting them in a hurry!