5.0 out of 5 stars Expect the unexpected ... and still be surprised!
In his introduction to "Twisted", Deaver acknowledges his personal delight with the experience of writing short stories. He suggests that because readers don't invest the same time or have the same emotional involvement in a short story as they would with a full length novel, the author is free to play an entirely different game - to hit like a sniper's bullet, to make...
Published on July 16 2007 by Paul Weiss
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1.0 out of 5 stars Dreadfully Dull
It's been said that the short story is a more difficult genre to master than the novel. Clearly that's the case for Jeffrey Deaver. His novels, while not literary masterpieces by any means, at least hold the reader's attention with reasonably intelligent and interesting plots. This collection of short stories, in contrast, is thoroughly predictable, in places laughably...
Published on June 4 2004 by Elizabeth S.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Expect the unexpected ... and still be surprised!,
This review is from: Twisted: The Collected Stories of Jeffery Deaver (Mass Market Paperback)In his introduction to "Twisted", Deaver acknowledges his personal delight with the experience of writing short stories. He suggests that because readers don't invest the same time or have the same emotional involvement in a short story as they would with a full length novel, the author is free to play an entirely different game - to hit like a sniper's bullet, to make the story fast and shocking, to make good bad or to make bad badder. But, Deaver says the most fun he had was to make really good really bad.
But - make no mistake - Deaver brings to the short story all the sophisticated skills that have been the foundation of his success as a novelist. He has a gift for dialogue, vivid characterization and suspense and his stories show deep insight into the emotions, the motivations, the fears and the love and happiness of his widely varied cast of characters. Despite its fundamentally gritty nature, his writing shows uncommonly refreshing humour and a capacity to convey deep feeling.
Doubtless everyone will come away from reading "Twisted" with their own personal set of favourites. I was fond of "Lesser-Included Offense", a crafty tale of shifty, cut-throat legal maneuvers during the capital trial of an accused murderer; "Gone Fishing" in which a daughter begs her loving father not to go fishing in an area which has been the site of a series of brutal killings; and, finally, "Nocturne" which begins with the theft of a priceless Stradivarius violin at gunpoint and ends with a ... well, you're going to have to read it yourself!
The dust jacket reviews liken Deaver's mastery of the short story twist to O. Henry and Edgar Allen Poe. I was reminded of Jeffrey Archer's "A Twist in the Tale" and Roald Dahl's "Tales of the Unexpected". For some easy going but compelling, rapid-fire, high quality toilet or beach reading that you can pick up and put down without losing the thread, "Twisted" will be your cup of tea! Definitely recommended.
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent short story collection,
This review is from: Twisted: The Collected Stories of Jeffery Deaver (Hardcover)From reading Deaver's novels, it is abundantly clear that his style, and his love of injecting a twist into a story, would be perfectly suited to the short story form. "Twisted" proves that that is true.
This is a collection of 16 of his stories (apparently the first of a planned two volumes), some of them award-winning, all of them excellent examples of how to write crime genre short stories. If you don't like the crime genre, though, I would you against this collection. If you prefer literature, you'll find them fatuous. They are, I suppose - they mean little and the characters are pretty hollow when it comes right down to it. However, if you want a good series of shocks and surprises, this really is the collection for you. It is EXCELLENT in that respect.
Some of the stories are absolutely excellent. For example, "Triangle" is possible a work of crime-writing genius. Absolutely brilliant. Every story has an unexpected twist. It's possible that you may be able to guess a couple, as you gradually work your way into Deaver's mindset, as I did, but even seeing twists coming, I think, gives you a great sense of satisfaction. There are one or two entertaining oddities, too. "All The World's A Stage" is a historical crime story, in which Shakespeare pops up. Some of the dialogue is laughable, the historical detail suspect, but the story itself is absolutely cracking. Despite it's flaws, it's very fine entertainment indeed.
They're written excellently, in just the way crime short stories should be. Every sentence is telling; every sentence has its function and does its work. Characters are developed as well as they can be in such small frames, and plots are wrought well too.
The only problem with a collection like this, is that, when stripped down, all 16 stories are rather similar, certainly in their devices. If you read this book as you would a novel, all in one go, I can imagine them getting pretty repetitive. It is probably best to read a story every couple of days. That's what I did, and I really enjoyed this. It was a great pleasure to be lead by the hand by Mr Deaver, and be surprised and then surprised again.
5.0 out of 5 stars A treat and another star in Deaver's crown for this,
This review is from: Twisted: The Collected Stories of Jeffery Deaver (Hardcover)O.Henryesque anthology of short and yes, very twisted and unique short stories. Each one can stand alone; yet packaged and tied with a bow in this manner, they give the reader a present that opens anew with each and every turn of the page.
If you imagaine that you can outwit this author and surmise what the twist will be, you have another think coming. How versatile Deaver is in his range of scenarios, in his wild and wonderful surprise endings; in his choice of characters and his imaginative prose!
I recommend this collection to anyone who wishes to be entertained, enlightened and absolutely thrilled to the bone. An exciting and memorable read by the author who has easily soared to first place on my list. I had just finished his 'Speaking in Tongues' when I picked up 'Twisted' and was given hours of reading bliss. Don't miss any of Jeffrey Deaver's works; he is truly gifted!
5.0 out of 5 stars TERSE TALES,
This review is from: Twisted: The Collected Stories of Jeffery Deaver (Hardcover)Having proven he is one of the masters of modern suspense novels, Deaver digs into some of his short stories for a pleasing sixteen story collection, with twists galore. Although thematically many of them are very similar (particularly the cheating spouse thing), they are all fun and carry their own distorted twists.
WITHOUT JONATHAN - a wife plans to murder husband; THE WEEKENDER - a pharmacy robbery yields unusual results; FOR SERVICES RENDERED - a woman seeks psychiatric help in dealing with her husband's intent to drive her insane; BEAUTIFUL - a woman takes desperate measures to off set a stalker; THE FALL GUY - just who's the fall guy in this one?; EYE TO EYE - a nerd seeks revenge on those who bullied him; TRIANGLE - a man uses a criminologist book to seek justice; ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE when Shakespeare helps out a murderer; GONE FISHING is a real twister with a little girl afraid for her daddy's well being; NOCTURNE is a nifty tale of revenge; LESSER INCLUDED OFFENSE brings justice in a roundabout way; THE BLANK CARD gives a husband reason to suspect his wife's infidelity; THE CHRISTMAS PRESENT is the only new story, a Lincoln Rhyme mystery, with a surprise ending; TOGETHER in which we meet a man with undying devotion; THE WIDOW OF PINE CREEK has a widow seeking help from a handsome stranger to settle her deceasesd husbands business problems; and THE KNEELING SOLDIER finds us again with a stalker and an enterprising young woman.
Deaver knows his craft well, and I think you'll find these stories more consistently entertaining than some other novelists who have ventured here.
4.0 out of 5 stars Deavious,
This review is from: Twisted: The Collected Stories of Jeffery Deaver (Hardcover)While he's best known as a novelist, Deaver is a self-confessed fan of The Twilight Zone, as well as Poe and Conan Doyle and O. Henry and Ray Bradbury, and he admits to enjoying short stories because it enables him to "make good bad and bad badder and, most fun of all, really good really bad." You can definitely tell he's having fun in this collection.
Many of these sixteen stories focus not on the detective or forensic scientist, but on the criminal. And yes, most of them are Twisted. Shakespeare acts as a witness in a murder case. A drugstore cowboy kidnaps a champion salesman. A district attorney tries desperately to jail an murderer who has bought and/or intimidated witnesses. A psychiatrist specializing in diseases of the rich thinks he sees a chance to change his own life for the better.
There are twist endings and more than a few twist middles. Insanity real and faked. Double-crosses and triple-crosses and multiple-crosses that would confuse an accountant. Good cops and bad cops, stupid cops and brilliant detectives, organized crime and disorganized crime, professional hitmen and deluded stalkers and unlikely-seeming criminal masterminds. Deaver is justly famed for getting the details of forensic science right in his novels, but he doesn't neglect the characterization of his cops, his crooks, or the victims. His characters aren't monsters, superheroes or spear-carriers: there is only one serial killer story in Twisted, and nearly all of the other crimes happen for reasons that most of us will understand. Lots of perfectly ordinary people planning murders with perfectly ordinary weapons out of perfectly ordinary motives... but almost always with a twist.
4.0 out of 5 stars All bets are off!,
This review is from: Twisted: The Collected Stories of Jeffery Deaver (Hardcover)Even though I have read several novels by Jeffrey Deaver, I had never come across any of his short stories and it was a nice surprise to discover the high quality of this collection. Most stories are superb, and since I have not read any of them before I was delighted with the book. But it is only fair to warn those people who have read short stories by this author in the past, because there is only one story that has not been published before. The new story, "The Christmas Present", is the one I liked less in the whole book. It seems that the author (or someone at the publishing house) had the idea to introduce a new story when there was not sufficient time left to maintain the level of quality. The story is considerable worse than any of the others. It looks as if Deaver had run out of ideas and decided to use his "usual" characters, Rhyme and Sachs, in a failed attempt to salvage the task.
The author explains in the introduction the difference between a novel and a short story, besides length, describing the short story as a "genre" in which the writer is authorized to "cheat" the reader. According to Deaver, in a novel the reader spends time and emotional energy in getting to know the characters, and therefore, it would be unfair to present an unpleasant ending. But in a short story "all bets are off" and the author will do everything in his power to shock the reader, leaving him/her awed and going back in the story to see if it is really possible that he/she assumed facts that weren't really there. This is why the title "Twisted" fits the theme of the stories extremely well.
For those of you that have read Deaver's short stories in the past and are not sure if it is worthwhile to buy this book here is a list of the stories with a brief description:
1.Without Jonathan - A woman sets up a blind date in an attempt to keep on going with her life after losing her husband.
5.0 out of 5 stars wide range of suspense and mystery tales,
This review is from: Twisted: The Collected Stories of Jeffery Deaver (Hardcover)Fans of the author and those who appreciate a wide range of suspense and mystery thrillers will appreciate this sixteen story collection. The tales run the gamut from historical (Shakespeare) to legal to ghostly to odious killers and finally to an original Lincoln Rhymes short story. The contributions are all well written so that readers will enjoy this anthology in which all the offerings contain Jeffrey Deaver's ability to keep the tension high, the action flowing, and the suspense non stop. Several though short in size live up to the title in that they have a twist or two that will surprise the audience who will admire Mr. Deaver's skills to do so in this format. TWISTED: THE COLLECTED STORIES OF JEFFERY DEAVER is a nice "Weekender" to spend "Nocturne" time as Mr. Deaver provides a "Beautiful" "Christmas Present" to his fans "For Services Rendered" as loyal supporters.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreadfully Dull,
This review is from: Twisted: The Collected Stories of Jeffery Deaver (Hardcover)It's been said that the short story is a more difficult genre to master than the novel. Clearly that's the case for Jeffrey Deaver. His novels, while not literary masterpieces by any means, at least hold the reader's attention with reasonably intelligent and interesting plots. This collection of short stories, in contrast, is thoroughly predictable, in places laughably bad (eg, the story set in Shakespearean England and written in a ridiculous, ill-informed version of period language), and mostly just downright boring. The stories are of the same caliber as you'd find in a cheap mystery or horror magazine or anthology filled with the efforts of unknown writers. Unless you're stuck on an airplane with nothing else to read, skip this one.
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Twisted: The Collected Stories of Jeffery Deaver by Jeffery Deaver (Hardcover - Dec 2 2003)
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