Cover Image: Shine/Variance

Shine/Variance

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Member Reviews

A well-written collection of stories with a focus on ordinary things, as we struggle to cope with modern life. Some of the reviews rave about this, but as ever with short-story collections I find a hit-and-miss ratio that means some were good, some not so good. I'll be interested to see what Stephen Walsh does next.

(Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an ARC of this title.)
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This is an excellent story collection that pulls off the difficult trick of describing the everyday in surprising ways. Walsh is just as good at getting into the minds of children - "Wingers" is a great portrayal of the hopes, insecurities and disappointments of being young - as he is at describing parents' shortcomings and failures ("Tooth and Bone", the title story) and the difficulties of ageing ("Riptide").  There are a couple of stories that don't quite come off - Wonderhouse's seemed like a technical exercise in a way none of the other stories did and "Please Say Why You're Calling" seems a little heavy-handed in its approach to recent Irish history - but this is a really impressive first collection that shows how strong Irish writing is currently. Great title too.
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