Thursday 21 November 2013

Like A House on Fire by Cate Kennedy

I'm one of those people who love a good short story, although I don't read them all that often.
I usually keep a book of shorts by my bed for those nights I'm too tired to get into whatever book/s I'm currently reading.

A good short story draws me in, shows me a little nugget of truth, then gently lets me go again.

I don't always remember the characters or their dramas; short stories aren't made for that kind of reading experience.

Instead, for me, short stories are about the feeling, the atmosphere, the beautifully turned phrase, the authentic experience.

Masters of this type of short story are Alice Munro, William Trevor, Angela Carter...and now, Cate Kennedy.

Her stories range from dysfunctional families to tenderness, loyalty to despair, deceit to good deeds.

As I was going through them I realised I was building up a collection of 'd' words to describe each story. By the end I was determined to find as many 'd's as possible!

The last few stories were a bit of a stretch, but I came up with 'desire', 'disappointment', 'disability', 'do-over' & finally 'dick-head'!

As with all collections of short stories, there are a few that linger on for days & weeks afterwards, a few that you wish were longer & a couple you remember nothing about.


  1. I really need to start reading more short stories. It's hard to find a good collection because a lot of times they are missing important elements that would tie it all together. I'm going to go check out the short stories from the authors you mentioned. Thanks!

  2. I commented here yesterday. I'm sure I did… It's never as good the second time round. I like short stories, but never know how to read them. I like one story. But then what if it's only 6 pages long? What do I do then? Read the next story and then get confused? I find that aspect of short story collections unsatisfying.

    1. Blogger comments can be a real pain. On my pc it's all okay, but when I try to comment on my phone or my epad, things can go wrong very quickly!

      I only read short stories at bed time. That way I stop at one as I'm lucky to read more than 5 pages most nights :-)


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