9780385606424 / 0385606427

Jigs and Reels





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About the book:

The quirky tales in Joanne Harris' first collection of short stories, Jigs and Reels, can best be summed up in two words: malevolent and mischievous. As with many of her full-length novels, Harris manages to cleverly combine ordinary--even humdrum--situations and characters with the extraordinary and the unexpected. Tales with a twist indeed.

Harris lets her formidable imagination run riot in Jigs and Reels. This is a rich and wondrous Pandora's box of the odd, the strange, the weird and the downright wicked. Many of her protagonists wreak satisfying revenge on the unsuspecting, in both comical and cringingly gory fashion.

Long enough to get your teeth into, but short enough to read in a flash of the eye, these 22 stories are startlingly different--from pensioners with a penchant for Manolos, to a magical cookbook that bites back; from school reunions with a difference to adventure games taken seriously. And what characters pop out of their slender pages, as large and as deeply rounded as in any novel. Ladies who breakfast at Tesco's, with dark secrets to mull over; limbless swimmers who fall dangerously in love, honeymooners who fall prey to the aphrodisiac qualities of fish, authors whose long-forgotten, half-finished novels come back to haunt them and lottery winners who bet on the ultimate, impossible odds.

In her introduction, Harris says she finds the process of short-story writing slow and difficult and accepts that success is never guaranteed. In truth, not every tale here works, but when it does, it is stunning--and in the spirit of one of her literary heroes, Ray Bradbury--lingers teasingly in the sub-conscious.

Joanne Harris is an anarchic storyteller, delighting in taking her reader by surprise and leaving them reeling. --Carey Green

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