I bought this book trusting that Nick Hornby would be sure to solicit stories from writers of a high calibre. He was the only one of the group that I had actually read before. I usually read literature that is at least 50 years old but more likely 100 or 200 years old -authors such as Tolstoy, Henry James, H.G. Wells, Balzac, Hawthorne, Mann, etc. But I get a craving for something contemporary every once in a while. Well, the first three stories were fine. They were certainly not deep stories but they were entertaining and well written (the authors were Robert Harris, Melissa Bank, and Giles Smith). I thought, if this keeps up I will be able to recommend this book. The next three stories however (by Patrick Marber, Colin Firth, and Zadie Smith) were abysmal duds. Still, three out of six in a collection of new stories is not bad. The seventh story was "NippleJesus" by Nick Hornby and it was good. But that was the last good one in the book. The efforts by Dave Eggers, Helen Fielding, Roddy Doyle, Irvine Welsh, and John O'Farrell were execrable latrine scrapings. Who told those people they could write? These are the sort of stories you might expect from a sneering junior highschool detention class. It is not surprising that the point of view of many of the dud stories in this collection is that of a child or adolescent. These writers (and I use that term loosely) are suffering from arrested development. Some of the profits from the sale of this book go to a worthy cause (schools for autistic children). If you want to do a good deed, donate some money to a similar school in your area, but don't buy this book -these people should not be encouraged in any way. Oh well, I think I'll start "The House of the Seven Gables" now. Old literature has successfully passed through the filter of time. The chaff in this Hornby collection will not be around in 10 years much less a hundred.