Cover Image: How to Gut a Fish

How to Gut a Fish

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Member Reviews

Haunting, lyrical and eerie. The king of short story collection made for me! If you also enjoy the work of Angela Carter, Kirsty Logan, Jen Campbell and Deirdre Sullivan, you'll love this.
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This book made me stop many times and just say ‘hang on… what!?’ Both unnerving and unsettling Sheila Armstrong writes a wonderful set of short stories, each with a poetic quality which truly resonates on a stunning level. An author I’ll certainly be keeping my eye on!
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Thank you to Netgalley & Bloomsbury for the ARC
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On a sentence level, the stories in How to Gut a Fish were absolutely stunning and Sheila Armstrong is definitely a writer I'll be keeping an eye on in future. There was something cold and distant in the stories that I didn't quite connect with and while I'd like to revisit them again at some point, they didn't quite resonate with me and I was left wanting more from some of the endings. For me "red market" was the real stand out.
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Shelia Armstrong’s How To Gut A Fish is undoubtedly an exceptionally well written set of short stories. Throughout these stories Armstrong masterfully weaves the seemingly mundane of her characters everyday lives with the unusual, surreal and even macabre. The way these stories twist and turn is startling, where in which darkness weaves its murky undercurrents. Though masterful these stories are certainly not for the faint hearted; where they might be called unsettling you might also find them uncomfortable. 

All this being said I found that these stories weren’t for me, however this is of course down to personal preference. I found them impressive, but I didn’t exactly enjoy reading them. I’m sure that many others will very much enjoy them as they certainly very well crafted.

It is worth noting that there are trigger warnings for these stories including abortion, drugs, human trafficking, hit and run, allusions to sexual assault and domestic violence.

As can sometimes happen with short stories I felt that they often raised more questions than they answered, leaving much to interpretation. I feel like these stories would lend themselves to very interesting discussions at book clubs.

I appreciate the opportunity to have read these stories and thank both Bloomsbury and Netgally for the opportunity to do so.

3.5/5
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I really hope that Shiela Armstrong realises what a truly great talent she is. This collection of short stories was so beautifully written, every sentence felt like a poem, it was rich with lyrical prose and rich imagery. Armstrong combined this beuatifully lyrical prose with strange story matter and it was a marraige made in heaven. I adored it
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