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: 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: 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...]

Forethoughts: Dark Lies the Island by Kevin Barry

*Bounce* *Bounce* *Bounce* *Bounce* *Bounce* Why am I bouncing? Because I'm excited. Why am I excited? Because sitting in front of me is Irish short fiction legend Kevin Barry's latest short story collection, Dark Lies the Island (Jonathan Cape), and … [Read more...]

Forethoughts: Scenes from Village Life by Amos Oz

*Please note, I've now posted my afterthoughts for Scenes from Village Life. And so I take a first tentative step into this year's Independent Foreign Fiction Prize as a 'shadow judge', by reading one of the shortest books on the longlist, … [Read more...]

Forethoughts: This Isn’t The Sort Of Thing That Happens To Someone Like You by Jon McGregor

Such is the quality of his short fiction writing, that every short story fan's heart fluttered when Jon McGregor's short story collection, This Isn't The Sort Of Thing That Happens To Someone Like You (Bloomsbury) was announced. It's time for mine to … [Read more...]

Forethoughts: Accabadora by Michela Murgia

Hand's up, who knows what an accabadora is? I'd be impressed if you did know. I didn't, but I soon found out when I picked up my lasted read which uses this word as its title. The meaning of accabadora is revealed in the cover blurb (see below). … [Read more...]

Forethoughts: Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Vol. 4

There are certain titles that need little introduction on RobAroundBooks, and the Bristol Short Story Prize anthology is one of them. If you're a regular then you'll know that I rate this anthology very highly, and so with the arrival of BSSP Volume … [Read more...]