Flash Reviews (September 25th 2013)

M is for Magic by Neil Gaiman ****
This is such a clever and well written story collection, filled with Gaiman’s trademark smoke and mirrors.  I found the entirety very inventive, and would recommend it to any fans of short stories and magical realism.  My favourite tales were ‘The Case of the Four and Twenty Blackbirds’, ‘Troll Bridge’, ‘October in the Chair’, ‘Chivalry’ and ‘The Witch’s Headstone’ (from The Graveyard Book).

The Journal of Katherine Mansfield *****
This is one of the few books which I’ve been the most excited about reading in my entire life.  Mansfield is one of my favourite authors, and she is the reason why I now adore short stories.  This is truly the most exquisite of journals.  Mansfield writes with such clarity, even during her fugs of illness, and I love the little story fragments and ideas for possible tales dotted throughout.  Utterly, utterly lovely.

How They Met and Other Stories by David Levithan ****
This is the first of Levithan’s solo works which I’ve read, and I very much enjoyed it.  As one can guess from the title, love is the central theme of this collection, and sexuality the second.  Levithan writes with wonderful clarity, and each and every one of his characters and their situations felt real in consequence.  Each story is a gem in itself, and I find myself unable to pick any favourites, as I enjoyed each and every one for different reasons.

The Rose-Garden Husband by Margaret Widdemer ***
I would probably have never come across this had it not been for Fleur Fisher’s lovely and encouraging review.  The story was most enjoyable and very sweet, and I enjoyed Widdemer’s writing.  My only qualm was with the rather unrealistic and predictable ending, hence my three star rating.


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