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COUNTRY CREATIONS
Books...
Short but sweet
Themuch-anticipatedlonglists
SteveMorris’collection havebeenannouncedforThe
ofshortstoriesfound
WalesBookoftheYear2009,the
favourwiththisissue’s
BookClubpanel,who
premierawardforWelshwriting.
enjoyedtheeclectic
Here,welookatsomeofthe
mixofexcitingtales
superbEnglishlanguageentries
Long-HaulTravellers,
Sheenagh Pugh.RRP:£7.99.
ISBN 978 1 85411 477 8.
Seren,Bridgend.Tel:01656
663018
BookClub
www.seren-books.com
Fromaward-winningWelsh
poet,authorandcritic
InAll Probability,Steve Morris.RRP:£6.99. SheenaghPugh,comesthisbeautifullysubtle
ISBN 978 1 905809 43 1. yetmovingcollectionofpoemsalongthethemeof
Pneuma Springs Publishing,Kent. journeys–whetherthey'regeographicalor
www.pneumasprings.co.uk personalones.
ThismonthreaderAndreaLloydfrom
Shrewsbury,Shropshire,Country & Border Life RaymondWilliams:AWarrior's
artworkco-ordinatorAngelaRoyceand Tale,Dai Smith.RRP:12.99.
editorialassistantCharlottevanPraaghdiscuss ISBN:978 1 905762 99 6.
In All Probability,acollectionofquirkyshortstoriesaboutfate,luck Parthian Books,Cardigan.Tel:
andunlikelyheroes,byCheshireauthorandteacherSteveMorris. 01239 612059
www.parthianbooks.co.uk
AL:Thisisabookofshortnarrativesaboutadiverserangeofcharacters,each RaymondWilliamswasthemost
withextraordinarystories.Theauthorhasaneclecticimaginationandatalent influentialsocialistwriterand
foraddingjustenoughdescriptiontomakeideasplausible. thinkerinpost-warBritain.Usingprivateand
CVP:AssoonasIpickedupthisbook,itwaswithmuchenthusiasm.Notonly unpublishedpapersasthebasisforthisbiography,
amIahugefanofshortstories–cleverlyorchestratedones,thatis–butthe DaiSmith,ProfessoroftheCulturalHistoryof
themesofdestiny,chanceandkismetarefascinatingones,withthescopefor WalesatSwanseaUniversity,conveyshow
weavingtrulymemorabletaleswhichstaywithyoulongaftertheyend. Williams'lifebefore1961–thatofchildhood,
AR:IwasactuallyquitedubiouswhenIfirstlookedatthebookbecauseI armyandadulteducation–shedslightonthe
thoughtitwasgoingtobepredominantlyboysstories.AndalthoughIfound greatintellectualhebecame.
thefirststory–oneaboutaboywhoseunusualskillforstone-throwing
meansheendsupasanassassin–wasabitofanon-starter,afterthatIwas Submarine,Joe Dunthorpe.
pleasantlysurprised. RRP:£7.99.ISBN 978 0 141
AL:Whilethecharacterswere,onthewhole,speckledwithredeeming 03275 7 Penguin,London.
qualities,afterthefirstfewstoriesit’shardtobuildanysortofsympathetic
“The themes
Tel:0870 607 7600
relationshipwiththemasyouknowfromthestarttheirstory'sprobablynot www.penguin.com
goingtoendwell.
of destiny,
OliverTate,thecentral
CVP:Ialsostruggledtoengagewiththefirstfewstoriesandfoundthemtoo chance and protagonistinthisfictional
shortandabrupt,withtoolittlecharacterdevelopmentformytastes.Someof novelforteenagers,isthe
thestructuresevenseemedformulaicandcontrived.AsIreadon,however,
kismet are
updated,southWalesversionofAdrianMole–but
thereweremoreandmoreIenjoyed,withmoreinventiveplottwistsarising.
fascinating
muchcooler.Submarinetakesyouonawittyand
AR:MyfavouritewasShared House,ataleaboutabuilder/architectwho fast-pacedjourneythroughOliver'scomingofage,
retiresearlytobuildhisdreamhome,withonlythebestmaterialsavailable
ones, with
withallthetriumphsandpitfallsalongtheway.
fromallovertheworld,includingWelshslate!Whenstrangesoundsbegin
the scope for
inthenewhouse,frombangingtoshouting,hiswifemovesoutbecauseshe Manderville,Matthew
can'ttakeanymore,butitseemshe'sstillsharingthehousewithsomeone... weaving truly Francis.RRP:£9.99.ISBN
AR:Ireallyenjoyedthisimaginativecollectionofshortstories,andfeltthe 978 0 571 23927 6.
titlefittedperfectlybecausesomearequiteprobablewhilstothersarenot!
memorable
Faber & Faber,London.
CVP:Allthestoriesareshortandto-the-point–perfectforreadingjustbefore
tales which
Tel:020 7927 3800
bed.I'dliketoseewhatelseMorriscoulddo,however,asIdidfeelanentire www.faber.co.uk
bookofstories,allonthesubjectoffate,canbecreativelylimiting.
stay with you
SirJohnMandevillewasthe
AL:Forme,thecontinualtorrentofcynicalandpessimisticoutcomestoeach
long after
compilerofahugelypopular
storyleftmefeelingsomewhatdejected,butperhapsthat’sbecauseIprefer bookofsupposedtravels
bookswithhappyendingsandoptimisticmessages. they end.” aroundtheglobeinthelate
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