A SEXTET OF SHORTS by Chris Hall
Reviewed by Kelvin M. Knight
With collections of short stories, the first thing I am drawn to is the introduction. There was none. And no dedication. And no About the author section. What drew me to this collection was word of mouth, a review by a trusted source, Ellie Scott. Then, when I visited Amazon, the interesting cover by Cliff Davies with the tagline “An eclectic collection of short stories” and the following book description piqued my interest further:
“A collection of six short stories of different genres and themes: cautionary and charming, fear and fantasy. A veritable smorgasbord!”
While looking that last word up, the initial feeling I had about this book was less is more. This continued with the price.
Ninety-nine pence. Sold.
The prose is polished. The editing is professional. The presentation and ordering of the stories is just right, starting with an emotional and physical bang, and ending with a heartwarming and charming tale.
The characters, the viewpoints chosen to tell the stories, fit together seamlessly despite there being no linked theme or central location. Each story is completely stand alone yet the author’s cosy and confident style make you want to keep reading.
I don’t have a favourite story or a least favourite story; I love every story in this collection. Each story feels familiar, like a friend visiting after a long absence, a true friend, one you are totally relaxed with and could listen to all night long.
Regrettably it only took me about an hour and a half to read these stories; however, I did willingly read them again and then again days later, curled up on my favourite comfy chair in the lounge with a hot chocolate early evening. Something I never do!
As you will see from the Contents on the Amazon sample – that I never downloaded before purchasing – the story titles are: The Day the Soldiers Came; The Swindler; The Spotless Bathroom; Dying With Determination; Daisy; A New Friend For Henry. Each one of these titles fits their story perfectly.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this eclectic collection of short stories and wholeheartedly recommend it. I cannot wait to read more of this author’s published work.