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by Margart Kindler (2020-06-07) FOR YOUR TROUBLE by Richard Ford (Bloomsbury £16.99, 272 pp)


by Richard Ford (Bloomsbury £16.99, 272 pp)

The moneyed, melancholy, middle-aged men in Richard Ford's latest collection of stories are bamboozled by the way their lives have turned out.

As the years drift along on a tide of indefinable emotion, they discover they ‘are alone in a way that is so many-sided there is not a word for it' (Displaced).

These sad stories are quietly devastating at their best (and a little lacklustre at their worst), as the protagonists are beset by lost love, burdened by bereavement and discombobulated by divorce.

In the quietly understated The Run Of Yourself, Peter Boyle, attempting to adjust to the silence of life after the suicide of his wife, finds that ‘grief. . . had evolved into jittery, inner, barely governable clamour'.

While in the insightful Second Language, recently widowed Jonathan hastily weds glamorous, spirited Charlotte and finds that he's ‘not feeling very married for a married man'. He learns that a new relationship requires ‘a language he hadn't yet mastered'.





Life on the ocean wave was a floating HELL! Limbs left... Build your own island getaway! Author explores the globe's...

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ALLIGATOR AND OTHER STORIES by Dima Alzayat (Picador £12.99, 224 pp)


by Dima Alzayat (Picador £12.99, 224 pp)

Dima Alzayat's startling, often shocking stories have at their heart a profound sense of dislocation. Her characters are struggling with inherited trauma, 웹툰 추천 while attempting to find a sense of belonging in places that are violently unwelcoming. Blood and brutality seep through the texture of her narratives; everyday occurrences are transformed by terror.

In the brilliant titular tale, based on the true story of a lynching in a small town in Florida, Alzayat uses newspaper clippings, letters, eye-witness accounts, real and fictionalised historical documents and racist social media posts to piece together the story of the murder of a Syrian-American couple killed by the town's police department and a vigilante mob, following an escalating row in a grocery store.

In the heartbreaking Ghusl, a sister prepares her murdered brother for burial. Recalling their childhood as she washes his body, she realises that her mother will never speak again, silenced by grief in a new country that is as unsafe as the homeland they left behind.


MAGIC MOBILE by Michael Frayn (Faber £12.99, 256 pp)

by Michael Frayn (Faber £12.99, 256 pp)

Described as a ‘non-digital entertainment system' with ‘35 pre-loaded text files', this book takes comic sideswipes at the more bothersome aspects of the modern world.

The territory is familiar: from the soul- destroying encounters with customer service assistants on the end of very unhelpful helplines (Gas), to endless feedback forms (unsurprisingly entitled Feedback), and the unsolicited catalogues advertising unaccountably useless gadgets that continue to appear in the letterbox (Brainwaves!).

Frayn is on the side of the hapless participant forced to endure these infuriating interactions, and the humour comes with a nod of rueful recognition.

Fresher and funnier are the pieces which deal with writing, especially Drama Dates, where characters seek plots, plots seek characters and a decanter of Scotch seeks an international criminal who needs ‘a reason to get to his feet and help himself to a drink with sinister casualness so as to make his longer speeches a little more interesting'.