Ing ere staring at the slanting snow outside This was my first Kennedy encounter I really liked it A couple of the stories were a bit strange or a little vague but even
with them Renegade With A Badge her wit style shone through Others were simply gorgeous I enjoyeder in the them er wit style shone through Others
simply gorgeous enjoyed er in the way I love Zoe Strachan s stuff in that Glasgow is often an element in the stories a Glasgow which I know which is neither tartanised nor criminalised Instead its uniue characteristics are allowed to show through for better or for worse The Ranchers Christmas Promise having once written a love e mail in the form of a dictionary of poetic terms iave a weakness for alternative fictionalised glossaries the middle story the mouseboks family dictionary is The Mansfield Rescue (The Mansfield Brothers, harrowingilarious and deftly paced cross referenced she s a varied intelligent short story writer and there was a subtle charm to the rest of the stories i was drawn in but ultimately unsettled by them in not the best way weirdly similar in tone to the cement garden by ian mcewan though by no means as icky i seem to be consistently creeped out by mid 90s brit fic so that s just me There are two rules with a writer s early works never start with them never review them They are good enough for the fans and the academics Laymen like you and me should stay awayWith AL Kennedy I am breaking both rules I should not particularly the second one Reviewing early works outside of academic publication is utterly unfair and this is whyThe author s style is not yet mature Cowboy Accomplice (McCalls Montana her matteras not completely emerged from Daddys Little Darlings her teenage desire to expresserself Mediterranean Rescue her thoughts are not entirely articulate Most of the stories in this collection suffer from their author s shyness Her lack of confidence iner own writing is palpable It is most evidenced in Mixing With the Folks Back Home the only text where AL Kennedy actually shows none of this shyness and strolls among er characters with the wits and confidence of a Mark Twain This funny uirky and irreverent text is an oddity standing out among e collection as if written by someone else Where all the other texts show in their tone a consistency announcing the emergence of a personal style this one s voice is completely different AL Kennedy was not even thirty when this was published Apparently the only way she could trust The Body Remembers Casebook her skills at that time was by borrowing someone else s voiceThe other stories are for the most part obscure Kennedy writes from insideer character s Perfect Chance head She writes diaries confessionser texts are scarce on concrete details and detailed on emotions The action is always blur indistinct other people s motives unclear as is the unfurling of the plot Her voice though is already The Undoing of a Lady (The Brides of Fortune here coldly lucid emotionallyurt resigned to the worst The deceptions of love the inadeuacy between language and feelings the violence of every day life It is as always with Mended Hearts (Men of Allegany County, her an uncomfortable read albeit not devoid ofumour But Ride a Painted Pony humour never dominates It is at best a temporary shelter from the chilling realities of being aumanFrom the early stages of The Hart Brothers her career AL Kennedy is a wounded soul who carries on exposingerself This is what makes Luke (Louisiana Gentleman her such a moving writer These early stories expose in full view the raw layers of feelings that constitute to this dayer primary material They are a worthwhile read if you are already a fan But as the first rule dictates do not judge The Black Sheep Sheik her by them If you are to start readinger start with Day This a collection of short stories with a terrifying cover so I ad no idea what to expect It was great Dark but insightful nice to read some short stories for a change it s a big ask to set the stage and create something to care about in just a few pages I m not sure ow this made it on to my bookshelf but I m glad it did. Tion of impotence the Rufus Drake (Dangerous Dukes, humour of discomfort asuman beings chafe together the crazed claustrophobia of the family adn the wildly funny results of an eccentricity unleash. Y off kilter way A Perfect Possession Mixing With the Folks Back Home A standout for me though was the sweet and Bound by a Scandalous Secret (The Scandalous Summerfields, haunting Christine A major talent Kennedy s second collection with a novel written or at least published in between She touches on some of the same themes as the previous collection still does a lot of monologues but this collectionas a broader range of styles even a traditional story with scenes The Mouseboks Family Dictionary is a brilliant experiment I d call it post modern but it arks back to Ambrose Bierce s The Devil s Dictionary Even if imitative er use of a dictionary to tell Dawn of Legends (Blood of Gods and Royals her story is innovative and funny yet deadly serious This is one of the strangest and weirdest collection of stories I ve read in some time some of them completely sail over myead and others are just incredibly off putting But this book manages to reach three stars for two reasons 1 AL Kennedy as an incredibly smooth writing style in spite of thewere simply gorgeous
head scratching subject matter and 2 a number of stories inscratching subject matter and 2 a number of stories in collection are absolute gems whether its through a sense of umour with penguins or a melancholy story about never meeting your idols especially retired writers This is an amazing book brimming with sarcasm and wit I The Outback Wedding Takeover have never forgotten the ever amazing Mousebok s family dictionary with its subtle dose of twisted realism andumour Twenty two years after reading it it s still with me Sunday February 1st 2015 I m sitting ere staring at the slanting snow outside snow that is too wet slushy and dirty to ever be the pretty version of the stereotype snow scene and I m wishing I could summarise the grimy eccentric unconventional world of AL Kennedy s stories in one sentenceMonday February 2nd 2015 two well chosen sentences might be enough to explain everything I feel about AL Kennedy s Perfect possession of the short story format if I were AL Kennedy because she s nothing if not subtleTuesday February 3rd 2015 I know I m not making it easy for anyone who may be trying to get an idea of what AL Kennedy is about from this review which I can now call a review since it s grown to three sentences in length but I m still very tryingWednesday February 4th 2015 the thing
AL Kennedy t make it easy for the reader she works ard at keeping us out until she decides to invite us in pacing Duty Bound (Bound and Tied, her stories very very carefullyThursday February 5th 2015 as we draw closer to theeart of an AL Kennedy story all the odd shaped pieces we d been puzzling over start to slot together and we begin to see exactly where Kennedy is taking us and while it s never exactly anywhere pretty it s always somewhere interestingFriday February 6th 2015 this might be the day I get to explain why AL Kennedy s writing impresses me so much especially as Friday is payday but with AL Kennedy even the words Friday Payday don t ave the usual significance meaning turns inside out er pay our pay not the same thing at all although we all kind of like it to come earlySaturday February 7th 2015 Make Me Yours (Harlequin Blaze, here we are rolling towards another snowy Sunday and I m wondering what I ve done with the week besides warming myands on the keyboard and annoying many gr friends by floating this serialised review of AL Kennedy s short story collection Now That You re Back in the updates daily which I did because I find Kennedy to be a fiercely talented person whose writing deserves nay demands a different review approach because like the writer character in the story Warming My Hands and Telling Lies the lies Kennedy invents are obliue innovative satirical sexy Who Is Emerald Monday? (Return to East Texas hilarious wise tragic curious but most of alluman in all the ues daintily delicate to downright dirty that man contains Sunday February 8th 2015 I m sitt. S define and deny their chosen identities While showing us the unlikeliness of intimacy and the impossibility of communication Kennedy also reveals the subversive libera. .is al kennedy
Opening a collection of short stories is a little like getting into a lift or elevator if you prefer you never know who ll get in for ow long they ll ride whether you re likely to engage with them or what relationship if any they are likely to Lone Star Protector (Texas K-9 Unit have with each other Your curiosity may or may not be piued you may wrinkle your nose at the smell or be embarrassed at the enforced intimacyowever transient What you do know is that like any passenger in the lift you re unlikely to be vouchsafed someone s life story that your experience will only produce brief and probably blurry mental snapshots of "Your Fellow Travellers And So It Is With This Collection " fellow travellers And so it is with this collection A L Kennedy vignettes In virtually every tale the reader arrives in medias res you pass through gates straight into the midst of the action such as it may be trying to guess at characters motivation context relationships tone and as each story concludes you never uite know if you ve got a Sheikhs Pregnant Cinderella (Bound to the Desert King, handle on it all if your grasping at the situation attains something substantial or merely thin air Sometimes a story reflects this seeming lack of substance in Failing to Fall the narrator allows others to dictate whatappens to Mending Fences him but remains lost and directionless when not told to get into a taxi to who knows where In Armageddon Blue the protagonist is literally all at sea wither life Her Baby, His Proposal having cast offer previous relationships and in ope than in certainty seeking both landfall and answers
in the near future And in the title story of the collection a young man is looking for is lostthe near future And in the title story of the collection a young man is looking for Camouflage Cowboy (Daddy Corps, his lost wille find it back with what remains of Undercover Marriage (Witness Protection, his family at the edge of the world where the land merges with the sea and the sky We sincerelyope so though even with the final It s all right we can never be sureWithin these taut and often terse mini portraits we range the world from Kennedy s adopted Forgotten Vows home of Glasgow to London from Wales to Paris and from rural America to an ocean cruise In similar scenes we glimpse individuals a fatuous guru a twisted puppeteer an underage prostitute a ballet dancer all withopes and fears but each one ultimately lonely or alone contemplating abandonment past and present abuse creeping age and certain death Frighteningly Kennedy is able to get into the The Chocolate Debutante (Regency Royal, heads of fundamentalists sociopaths and psychopaths and see the world from their warped point of view from the controlling parents in A Perfect Possession to the committed guerrilla in The Boy s Fat Dog from the fan verging on stalker in Warming My Hands And Telling Lies to the serial killer s lover in Mixing With The Folks Back Home You might think that it s all bleakness in these tales but there is some leavening Weave a perfect take on the paranormal in Christine Mood Swing humour in On Having More Sense and satire in the rather strange The Mouseboks Family Dictionary But there is something sad about the collection as a wholeinting at the strangeness that resides in every one of us Feels Like Home / The Mighty Quinns however much a view of normalcy we might try to project to the rest of the world The problem is I m going to be a little anxious about getting into a lift in future if the world is really inhabited by disturbed or damaged people such as the ones that Kennedy so effectively portraysere It s a tribute to Wrongly Accused Down to the Wire her language and descriptive skills that we almost believe they inhabit our real world rather than merely residing iner imagination Now That You re Back is an impressive but disturbing portrait gallery of characters both Her Guilty Secret (Mills Boon Dare) (Mills Boon Dare) (Guilty as Sin, Book 1) haunted andauntinghttpwpmep2oNj1 D6 An extremely good short story collection She as a very distinctive voice There are some very funny stories On Having More Sense The Mousebok s Family Dictionary and some dark creepy bizarre ones that are funny in a ver. Exposing and exploring the sinuous undercurrents of violence anguish and love AL Kennedy examines the nature of the individual both in isolation and society as character. .