Saturday, February 22

Book Review: What Becomes

Title: What Becomes

Author: A.L. Kennedy

Pages: 126

Summary: No one captures the spirit of our times like A. L. Kennedy, with her dark humour, poignant hopefulness, and brilliant evocation of contemporary social and spiritual malaise. In the title story, a man abandons his indifferent wife and wanders into a small-town movie theatre where he finds himself just as invisible as he was at home. In the masterfully comic “Saturday Teatime,” a woman trying to relax in a flotation tank is hijacked by memories of her past. In “Whole Family with Young Children Devastated,” a woman, inadvertently drawn into a stranger’s marital dysfunction, meditates on the failings of modern life as seen through late-night television and early-morning walks.

What Becomes
Saturday Tea Time
Confectioner's Gold
Whole Family with Children Devastated
As God Made Us
Story of My Life

My Rating: 8.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: I was very impressed by this collection of short stories, and after finishing them, I'm looking forward to reading more by the author. While some short stories were better than others, the overall collection was one well worth reading.

The writing was stunning, I'm looking forward to reading more by the author. While some of the short stories in this collection appealed to me less than others, all were well written. They all had a similar, almost dark and twisted, theme that spread across the entire collection. All of the stories focused on different aspects of human nature, sometimes at their weakest points in life which made for a very engrossing reading experience at times.

I'm not sure I have a favourite short story from the collection, but some do stick out more than others. Marriage was somewhat dark and shocking, but was fitting for the collection. It's not one I could say I enjoyed reading, but it was one that stuck with me after I finished it. Wasps was well told, and had a fairly developed story to it, especially considering it was such a short story, and I found myself wanting just a little more from it. Vanish, was another story that stood out, and I found that the ending was very fitting for the story. Finally, Saturday Tea Time, which was the one that stuck out the most for me, and is probably the one I enjoyed the most, if I had to pick one. It had a lot to the story, for one so short, and the author captured the atmosphere and emotion of the story and the character in it wonderfully.

All of the stories in this collection are incredibly well told, while I enjoyed some more than others, I found they all had, some kind of quality to them that pulled me in. Overall a great read.

Would I recommend it to read: I would, the author is a terrific writer and this collection is one that a lot of readers, especially fans of short story collections would enjoy.

What to read next: I'd say check out the author's other books. Whirl Away and Lift Lightning are also two short story collections with similar themes.

Challenges: 100+ Books, 2014 Category Challenge, Alphabet Challenge, EBook Challenge, Mount TBR Challenge, New Authors Challenge, Read Scotland Challenge

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