Constellation of Genius: Agatha Christie’s THE SECRET ADVERSARY

Given how well read I like to think I am, it may come as a shock to some to hear that I’ve never once wandered the literary landscape of Agatha Christie (Gasp! Horror!). Sure, I know well enough of her literary output but I’ve never read any of her … [Read more...]

Forethoughts: Unthology 4 anthology

Before I begin with these forethoughts, a disclaimer. I know both of the editors of this anthology series, not in a physical sense but we connect together online often, to discuss the glory of the written word and the beautiful minds who wield their … [Read more...]

Forethoughts: Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology 6

Every year I look forward to the Bristol Short Story Prize anthology, and there’s a good reason for this - it never seems to disappoint. I realise that I’m perhaps being a little premature in saying such a thing, but I have real confidence in the … [Read more...]

Forethoughts: The Dig by Cynan Jones

Although The Dig (Granta Books) from Welsh author Cynan Jones is newly published, I’m not unfamiliar with it, or at least part of it. You see, back in February 2013 I read a short story by Mr. Jones that was shortlisted for the Sunday Times EFG … [Read more...]

Forethoughts: Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris

My first experience reading David Sedaris came about six years ago when I picked up Dress Your Family In Corduroy And Denim. It was second-hand copy, and I remember when I bought it in a charity shop in Perth (Scotland). It’s the one that has a cover … [Read more...]

Forethoughts: Oh Sweden! Oh Israel! by Stephan Mendel-Enk

Outside of literature I have a profound interest in religion. I may be an atheist myself but religion has long fascinated me. My main interest lies in the Islamic and Judaic religions and their associated histories and architecture, but I'm also … [Read more...]

Forethoughts: What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank by Nathan Englander

I'll get straight to the point here. Despite having an insatiable thirst for short stories I've never read anything by Nathan Englander. Why, I don't know. I'm well aware that he's a 'hot number' in short fiction, but for whatever reason he's always … [Read more...]

Forethoughts: Suddenly a Knock on the Door by Etgar Keret

If I could describe Israeli short fiction specialist Etgar Keret in one word then that one word would be ingenius. 'Ingenius' simply because he has the ability to come up with the most extraordinary stories. To date, he's published five short story … [Read more...]

Afterthoughts: Dark Lies the Island by Kevin Barry

In a Nutshell: Dark Lies the Island is easily as good as Barry's debut collection There Are Little Kingdoms, and in some respects - mainly in terms of maturity - it's even better. I may have been worried going into this one thinking that I may have … [Read more...]

Afterthoughts: Various Authors

In a Nutshell: I find it difficult to comprehend that this is a debut anthology from a new publisher; a publisher who not so long ago was nothing more than a 'simple' book blogger. Rod Redman has put together a short story anthology here that's … [Read more...]