Sunday 12 March 2017

Don't Try This at Home by Angela Readman   {Reviewed by THOMAS}
Readman's stories in this beautifully presented collection are as savage and precisely thrown as the finest nail-bombs, full of diamond-headed nails. Whether telling of a woman who keeps cutting her boyfriend/husband in half, replicating him until she lives with a myriad possible versions of him; or of the teenager who inherits (literally) the secret of irresistible attraction, and the concomitant pleasure of walking away, from her aunt; or of the girl whose mother has a latent Elvis awakened in her by a young woman as she works at the local fish and chip shop; or of the girl with the head of a dog, Readman serves up stories that are at once surreal and subtle, funny and tragic, crazed and psychologically astute. Several of the stories remind me of those of Angela Carter: children push through into an adulthood that has not had a chance to prepare itself for them, stereotypes are worn inside-out to show their linings, characters crushed by society escape through the cracks opened by that crushing.

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