A collection of quirky short stories, showing how this jewel-like form helps to unleash imagination. You’ll meet nursing home escapees, writers meeting their characters in real life, statisticians winning the lottery, middle-aged witches, and a bit extreme role-play games aficionados. And many many others.
I had this book on my shelves for so long I don’t even remember where I bought it. Judging by its state it’s clearly a second-hand buy. I finally got to it, because I read the books that were standing in front of it on the shelf and it finally showed up. Yes, I do have to double-line my books, I am fighting with it and got it down to one and a half shelf double lined, out of three bookcases, I consider that progress. Also, it’s turning the back of the shelves into a bit of a treasure trove because I never know what’s lurking behind.
We all probably somewhat know Chocolate, either the book or the movie. And in a way, this collection carries a similar vibe. The coziness lined with horror. The suspicion the world is not as safe as we’re used to thinking, that there is something evil lurking. But the stories also bring in many other themes, there’s a lot of longing, some rage and more than enough ambition.
I certainly appreciated that every story stood on its own, they were sometimes exploiting similar tropes, but all in a different way. I adored the first story about two nursing home patients escaping for a trip to London. Also, the one about a quiet middle-aged wife turned into a leather sex-toys producer was delightful. Others can be a bit creepy, some having almost a Black Mirror sinister vibe about them.
As I always mention I do not like short stories too much. Then I am also usually lucky with the ones I come across and this one is such an example. They are easy to read, simple (not stupid) and imaginative. As if they carried in their hearts a grain of the best fairy-tale craft.
This book is probably not a must-have, but certainly, a pleasure to read and distract your mind from whatever worries you.
Photo by Violetta Kaszubowska