All the Rage

All the Rage

eBook - 2014
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A dozen stories: a dozen ways of looking at love, or the lack of love. Over five previous collections, A. L. Kennedy has shown herself to be a master of the short form, with a perfect way with sentences and a voice so distinct as to be instantly recognizable.

Here, as before, lies the battlefield of the heart, where characters who have suffered disaffection, alienation, or emotional damage somehow emerge -- haltingly, awkwardly -- into the astonishment of intimacy. And here, too, are the ones who will not shake off the hurt and the loss, who will not come through.

The extraordinary title story takes place on a railway platform, with a couple waiting for a train that never comes, and opens out into the husband's shocking admission of years of deceit, and a devastating portrait of a failed marriage, a failed man. Another story shows a woman who is, in every sense, lost and who finds herself -- to her bewilderment and alarm -- walking the aisles of a sex emporium holding an electric penis. There is great compassion in Kennedy's stories, and deep, dark humour, but also a stronger sense than ever before that emotional paralysis can be loosened -- that an impossibly uncomfortable lunch, say, between two apparent strangers, can culminate in a passionate kiss. "You do not know this man. He is practically a stranger. Only he's not."

Publisher: Toronto : Astoria, 2014
ISBN: 9781770894648
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc


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Nov 28, 2014

These 12 short stories are generally around the theme of love. They are subtle and compressed; not light reading, I read them twice but was never disappointed by the results of the extra effort.

BCD2013 May 06, 2014

NYPL Staff Pick
A boy won’t name a new puppy because he knows his mother will eventually take it away from him in a fit of pique; a disfigured introvert wanders into a sex shop and feels she has to buy something just to get away from an overly-aggressive clerk; a younger partner in a May-December romance asks his lover “What should I wear at your funeral?” Scottish writer Kennedy’s penetrating observations about these flawed, discomfited people and her crystalline prose make her a master story teller. Her talent has always been underappreciated in this country. Perhaps this book will correct that error.
- Wayne Roylance

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