Monday, 16 April 2012
The Dead Dog and Other Tales of Tragedy and Triumph
I’m not a great fan of short stories, though I have recently read and enjoyed a number of novellas. Because of that, I thought I would remain open-minded to the shorter-still story and give this collection a go.
This medley was quite a motley crew. Each story was very different, which kept me page-clicking – I wondered what the next would be about, and I was never disappointed. Each story was fresh and diverse, and unlike a favourite singer or band whose style is distinct and recognisable, the author puts quite a different stamp on each tale.
My favourite story was ‘Lured’ – an edge of your seat, tense, mini-mini-thriller, set in the world of diving. My least favourite was The Dead Dog – the tale that gives its name to the title of the book. It was no less entertaining, I should hasten to add, but the death of a domestic animal (whether it’s a cat, dog, or horse) always upsets me, and if I have to grade these stories in order of preference this would have to go to the bottom of the list. Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable short about a woman scorned.
The other four stories have the same chalk and cheese diversity. Two are a little sad, pathetic even, one is tale of ‘seeing-the-light’ and new hope, the third the story of a wrong that finally finds justice.
M J Winn has certainly put together a pleasing and original collection, and I will no doubt consider collections or anthologies in the future. More importantly, I would be very keen to read a full-length novel by this creative writer.