Watching Charlotte Bronte Die: and Other Surreal Stories
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|Seeing a ghost is bad enough. But what if the dead woman's Charlotte Bronte?
'No bike wheels spinning high in the air, no ghastly corpse, or crumpled victim propped against a wall. The street was damp and devoid of life, but also of death.
'I watched the water running away. All I could think was one small thought. I hadn't known Charlotte could ride a bike.'
Ghostly happenings, death and destruction, a few twists and unexpected endings. All part of the mix in Watching Charlotte Bronte Die: and other surreal (short) stories.
What people have said (a sample of reviews)
1. Mystery does arise in many different places in this collection of nine stories from somewhat intriguing realities. Be prepared for the unexpected.
2. Who could resist picking up a collection of short stories with such a provocative title? Its intrigue does not disappoint in this engaging mix of dark humour, magical realism and intelligent observation of the poignant lives of thwarted misfits whose spirits remain unquashable.
On the evidence of this collection, I'd say Ellie Stevenson is a versatile and sharp-witted writer, a chameleon flitting effortlessly between male and female first person voices (and sometimes third person), in a wide range of settings.
Each story is distinct and different, and, with great timing, keeps you waiting and guessing till the final twist and pay off. An impressive and satisfying collection, and I hope there'll be more to follow. In the meantime, I'm looking forward to trying her novels.
3. This collection of stories is both entertaining but with a surreal twist. I enjoyed all of them immensely, would recommend.
4. I love Ellie Stevenson's writing - short simple sentences, often with a bitter bite to them. To take an easy one, from "Anna Grail":
"I thought my chances were exceedingly slim. Unlike me."
This collection of short stories contains a variety of tales with a sting in the tail - my favourites are probably "Anna Grail", The Window Box" and "The Last Bus Home".
The collection winds up with an excerpt from "Ship of Haunts" (the other Titanic story) which I have already read twice. I enjoyed the excerpt so much that I'll probably read it all again. Ellie Stevenson's stories are unusual, rich with little details, ands her writing is deceptively simple. The combination grows on you. A good read and worth re-reading.