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Whole Story And Other Stories Paperback – Jun 28 2004

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin UK; First Thus edition (June 28 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140296808
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140296808
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 19.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 222 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,327,081 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
There was a man dwelt by a churchyard. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Thoroughly enchanting May 16 2004
By An Avid Reader and Writer - Published on
Format: Paperback
I'm a big fan of Jeanette Winterson, and I'll confess that her endorsement on the cover of the book sold me. But after reading this delightful collection cover to cover in a couple of days, I'll say Smith's work is its own endorsement. Like Winterson, Smith has a magical quality to her storytelling and her I/you gender play (I'm surprised the official book review above claims so smugly that the person who fell in love with a tree had a husband!) I was hooked from the first tale, "The Universal Story" (which reminded me of Woolf's splendid "Kew Gardens") and kept finding gem after gem. Even the longest stories seemed to fly by. Ali Smith is a really rewarding read. She's invigorated my summer reading.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
twee .. no, precious .. no, just annoying Oct. 17 2011
By audrey - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've always enjoyed short stories and was anxious to read these based on the glowing reviews. Yikes. The style is way too precious for my taste. Here is the beginning of the first story:

"There was a man dwelt by a churchyard.
Well, no, okay, it wasn't always a man; in this particular case it was a woman. There was a woman dwelt by a churchyard.
Though, to be honest, nobody really uses that word nowadays. Everybody says cemetery. And nobody says dwelt any more. In other words:
There was a woman who lived by a cemetery. Every morning when she woke up she looked out of her back window and saw -
Actually, no. There was once a woman who lived by - no, in - a second-hand bookshop."

I am already crazy with annoyance, reading this balderdash -- too precious by half -- and I haven't even turned the first page.

There are twelve stories, slivers of Scottish lives, and the style is often intrusive. This is definitely not to my taste, but based on other reviews, others may enjoy it.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
what we really are Jan. 4 2006
By J. Yasi - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a writer who innovates, with spare, accurate, fresh prose. Modern characters are alive, complex,with fantastic ability to love and defy expectations.

The after-taste is deeply comforting stories, though these stories can also be unsettling and provocative. Funny too. Funny is really the thing. These stories prod the funny bone of our tender human worries, wants and heartbreaks. Truly beautiful writing, I'm collecting every one of her books. Thank you Ali Smith, for writing! Very beautiful stories here!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A brilliant and natural writer Dec 29 2005
By JamieC - Published on
Format: Paperback
I have the highest praise for Ali Smith's formidable talents as a writer. These are some of the best short stories written in a very long time. Her use of language and her sophisticated but enormously successful technique is a rare find. I recommend this collection and all of Ali Smith's work highly.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Like a nesting doll May 26 2005
By Richard Lamanna - Published on
Format: Paperback
Everything Ali Smith writes burrows deep inside itself, making the mundane of everyday life magical; lovely; beautiful. We need authors like her to remind us that love lays in the heart of everything, and it isn't always pretty. Of all her work this collection of "love" stories is a particular favorite of mine. It's simple in such a twisted way it becomes complex. Lovers forced to reflect on life's complex series of compromises, disappointments and find beauty in the smallness of the world around them. Obsessions rise to the surface and bury sanity. As the reader we are given a series of views that pull us deeper and deeper into the story, sometimes including us as part. The final story wrapping up the whole theory; no matter how horrible it all is, no matter how wonderful it all is, the WHOLE story is so much more.

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