Piranha to Scurfy and Other Stories Paperback – 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
The final story, High Mysterious Union, is set in a wonderfully
eerie atmosphere. Although we've all read stories or seen films about sinister rustic villages, no one can do this better than Rendell, and this story has an unusual twist (the villagers aren't devil worshippers looking for sacrificial victims, as I first suspected).
All in all, a brilliant collection of stories. If you're not already a Ruth Rendell fan, this will probably make you want to read some of her novels.
The title story is a long and predictable authorial revenge-fantasy that veers off into supernatural horror. Mostly consisting of an extended character study, it follows a cliché of a maternally dominated middle-aged pedant whose madness consumes him. Living alone since his mother's death (he killed her, duh!), he spends his days reading books and writing letters to their authors and publishers pointing out mistakes.Read more ›
I should say at the beginning that I do not believe, as some seem to do, that Ruth Rendell's work is in any way in decline. Though _The Chimney Sweeper's Boy_ and _Harm Done_ will never rank among my favorite Rendell novels, I don't believe that they are on any different literary level from her books of five or ten years ago, and I freely admit to preferring her most recent work to earlier books like _One Across, Two Down_. I think Rendell's prolificacy leaves her books susceptible to uneven quality. Additionally, her affinity for writing and plotting in several different styles means that many readers will not like all of her books.
The title story, called "Piranha to Scurfy" in the Rendellian tradition of the initially incomprehensible title, is a claustrophobic story of paranoia and obsessive compulsion that reminded me initially of earlier Rendell books like _The Bridesmaid_ and _Talking to Strange Men_ but an important difference soon became apparent; there is a surprisingly funny side to "Piranha to Scurfy." The protagonist is so unattractive, so irritating, that it is nearly impossible for the reader to feel empathy for him.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
The stories are good, mysterious. Add to that the outstanding talents of Jenny Sterlin and you have 4 hours of good times ahead.Published on Jan. 21 2004 by Michael D. Blatt
The stories range from being chilling and disturbing to being a bit on the dull side. It is still worth reading as some of the stories are very good but overall I think the... Read morePublished on Dec 16 2002 by Wayne
Ouch! This is a major disappointment compared to her earlier collection, "The Fallen Curtain". Want mystery and suspense, or even a little slightly interesting reading? Read morePublished on Aug. 28 2001 by Sanzerif
I went to the library for a couple of books on a rainy morning. "Piranha to Scurfy" was just what I needed! Liked the first story best. Read morePublished on May 20 2001 by A reader
Though I remain one of her legion of fans, with each successive published work, I find myself asking "Why"? Read morePublished on April 2 2001 by JACK C. BROWN
Ruth Rendell is one of my favorite mystery writers, so my disappointment in this collection of stories was all the keener. Read morePublished on March 29 2001 by Maria-Therese Vasquez
In her latest collection of sories, Ruth Rendell explores again some of the invisible traits in our nature. Read morePublished on March 5 2001 by Emilia Palaveeva
Ruth Rendell is better known for her novels, especially her Inspector Wexford series, but in "Piranha to Scurfy" she produces a volume of short stories that do her... Read morePublished on Feb. 9 2001 by Billy J. Hobbs