Constellate Literary Journal recently published my short story, All Fixed. Read it here.
The pub smelled of stale lager and pork scratchings, but that’s just the way Dad liked it. One of the last good, proper pubs left, so he used to say. A shithole, in other words. But at least it was friendly. I watched Mum as she wandered across the dingy maroon carpet. Her nose crinkled as she noted the soles of her shoes clinging to the sticky pile with each step. I sipped my large white wine and hoped its effects would wash over me quickly.
Gavin nudged me. ‘One drink and we’ll be off.’
I took in the clusters of mourners which filled the room. ‘I haven’t spoken to anyone yet.’
Continue reading “All Fixed | Short Story”
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time has been on my to-read list for years and I’m annoyed with myself for ignoring it for so long! It was critically acclaimed when first published in 2003 and it’s wholly deserving of the praise it has received – it is simply wonderful. Continue reading “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon | Book Review”
Papa Jack’s Toy Emporium opens with the first frost of every winter to provide the city’s children with the most magical of toys. From windup, patchwork animals that seem to truly live, to little wooden soldiers who can fight battles like real men, the Emporium offers an enchanting array of toys that fill children and adults alike with wonder. Cathy Wray arrives aged 16, pregnant and homeless, in search of work and board, and there she remains to become a permanent part of the Emporium family. But unending rivalry between Papa Jack’s sons, Kaspar and Emil, pose a threat to the future of the Emporium. Continue reading “The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale | Book Review”
Lincoln in the Bardo was the 2017 Man Booker Prize winner, and it’s been on my to-read list since then. It tells the story of Abraham Lincoln during the loss of his son, which came at a time when the American Civil War was in full swing. Little Willie Lincoln is just 11 years old when he dies, and he finds himself trapped in a ghostly realm between life and rebirth, along with a bunch of bickering, whinging, whining ghosts. The novel is told through a series of excerpts from newspaper reports, books, journals and diaries, as well as the first-person narration of various ghosts who witness Lincoln entering his son’s crypt and cradling his body. Continue reading “Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders | Book Review”
Hotel World tells the stories of five women whose lives are intertwined by a single luxury hotel. The first, Sara, died in a tragic accident while working in the hotel, and her spirit floats around the living world, gradually forgetting words and memories of her life whilst her body decomposes in its grave. The second, Else, is homeless; she sits outside the front of the hotel trying to control her raucous coughing while collecting spare change from those who pass her by. Continue reading “Hotel World by Ali Smith | Book Review”