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The Beautiful Indifference: Stories by Sarah Hall

15818482

 

Winner of the Portico Prize
Winner of the Edge Hill University Short Story Prize
Short-listed for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award

“Individually stunning, together these stories comprise a tour-de-force collection that has reignited my love of the form.” (S.J. Watson )

“Sarah Hall’s writing is breathtaking…I did actually stop breathing once or twice…I loved it.” (Sadie Jones, author of The Outcast, Small Wars, and The Uninvited Guests )

“Hall’s women are cheated on, broken up with, sick, bored, lonely; and her writing pulls the reader into subtly rendered but deeply felt worlds . . . American readers who cut their teeth on Joyce Carol Oates . . . will want to give this collection a try.” (Booklist )

 

My Review

Now this author can write and she can pack a potent voice, a great narrative.
She has written these short stories all with characters who are female and they are told in first person narrative. Visceral and affecting, light and dark, beautiful and ugly, she passes your time bringing voices of various people in society from different walks of life and different pastures. Inner-city to country she tells of their dilemmas their loves and she can write on and and on. A writer I anticipate to deliver quite a good novel in the future all the hallmarks of great writing are in here with memorable characters and emotions. You may disagree but I like it, also to note this is a great collection of literary work that deals with adults, so you will find one or two swear words, women behaving badly and some between the sheets description.

Excerpt

“During the day you go into the city because it’s a place you’re supposed to go into, now that you’re a resident. You encourage yourself to learn bus routes, find groceries, independent cafes. You go to galleries and shopping districts. You share the pavement, walk with or against the crowd. Sirens. Traffic. Planes. There is such different choreography from that which you are used to, the slow machinery in the black fields, livestock cropping the tufts, your once vernacular scenery. You’ve some money and a credit card that has not been stopped. Soon you’ll find employment, probably quite menial; you’re not highly qualified, but for now you’re acquainting yourself with London, distracting yourself from time before. It is a faceted city: ornate, sooty, modern. You aren’t afraid of it. You note things, place details on a cerebral shelf. You memories noises, chimes, electrical thrums, the euphonic character of the place. And smells: the stale pavement, body odours, doorstep musk, green ponds. There are underground winds, motion sensations, beeps commands. Your head has begun to fill with urban miscellanea, civic clutter, like keen junk.”

Reviewed by Lou Pendergrast on 06 February 2013