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All the Rage: Stories Hardcover – April 29, 2014


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Like the breakfast “potatoes to which sad accidents must have happened,” the characters in Kennedy’s (The Blue Book, 2013) latest jangly collection of short stories appeal precisely because of their discomfiture with contemporary society. People “wander hunch-backed streets in a migraine of drizzle” and live with their darker deeds and thoughts—abandonment and despair loom large in these brief tales—on the edges of a world where normalcy is often derided. A serial adulterer is attracted to a woman who has slept with one of the Rolling Stones (it didn’t matter if it was Mick or Keith) because “being with her was like trying on a vintage coat.” A physically damaged woman mistakenly wanders into a sex shop and is confronted by false body parts that illuminate her own disfigurement and the love it has cost her. One reads Kennedy for the surprise of it all, the twist in the plot that reveals the quirk in the character that confirms the righteousness of a feeling that brings it all full circle. --Carol Haggas

Review

“Twelve galvanizing, elliptical tales…[the title story is] magnificent and often acerbically funny.”Publishers Weekly, Starred Review, Pick of the Week

“The inner lives of Londoners are revealed bit by tantalizing bit in this ethereal collection by Scottish novelist Kennedy.” —Kirkus

“One reads Kennedy for the surprise of it all, the twist in the plot that reveals the quirk in the character that confirms the righteousness of a feeling that brings it all full circle.” —Booklist

“She’s delightfully dark in one moment, and offering her quiet poetic gifts in the next…The language, the playful audacity, the raw, earned wisdom: these are all an utter joy.” —L.A. Review of Books

“Kennedy is at her best…Few writers can make our foibles so entertaining, or examine our moments of crisis with such originality and wit.” —San Francisco Chronicle

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: New Harvest (April 29, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0544307046
  • ISBN-13: 978-0544307049
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #190,355 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Monica B. Morris on August 29, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
To be honest, I really hated these stories. The reviews were so inviting that I sent for the book, only to find that I felt no affinity for any of the characters, their language, their emotions, or anything. A while after I put the book down, I thought I'd try again. after all, the author is so highly considered by so many impressive reviewers. And she is so widely published. I still found the stories unreadable. Something wrong with me? Maybe. But I read a great deal and have lists of authors whose work I adore and whose books I buy. So, sorry.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Sullivan on March 16, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Here are twelve short stories whose primary theme is love. But that large, pristine, smooth block of marble known as love, is, in the author’s hands, chiselled into monuments to lust, heartbreak and loss. Scattered around these monuments are small chunks of hope and humour that have been allowed to remain intact and which the reader stumbles over every so often as they look up at misery sculpted large.
The writing style is staccato like and too often obtuse and dense. There is a stream of consciousness that permeates most of the stories with internal dialogues that at times feel like their pushing the reader away with their repetitive, minimalistic style of narrative.

“And meanwhile you, there’s you and you were, you really, you absolutely – I absolutely – in all of the ways I would like to – in all the ways I would like
But I
But I
But I
But I
Phone would be better.”

From, 'A Thing unheard of'.

But this repetitive, minimalistic style though at times distancing is honest. People’s external and internal dialogues are full of repetitious phrases and words that are used to make a point, or to make sure a word or phrase was heard by those listening. We look to validate a point and/or our place in our discussion group by repeating words and phrases. We repeat words or phrases in our internal dialogue so that when we have to repeat them out loud they will hopefully make sense.
There are moments of laugh out loud humour. The story, 'Baby Blue', finds the protagonist in a sex shop surrounded by disembodied vaginas and penises.

“Chocolate-flavoured condoms. They had chocolate-flavoured condoms.
You like penises, you like chocolate, why not both?
There are many whys for not both...
Read more ›
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By Marguerite Hughes on October 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
great book
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By cookiemonster on May 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover
A.L.Kennedy is always brilliant, and this story collection is just as fresh as I'd hoped it would be. One of the great literary talents.
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6 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Chris Roberts on April 30, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Disembodied voices rise up off the book's pages...

Past the reader and they drift unheard into the stratosphere...

The inner monologues are fetishized by the author...

A self-contained thought passes for love...

There is a constant inward questioning in the stories...

The infinitesimal micromanagement of the mind...

All of this translates into dense reading...

Obfuscation by design and selfishly so...

Random snippets jotted down and marked "profound"

Must exist absent publication...

Chris Roberts, God of Scotland
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