An Eclectic Collection of Stuff and Things – Edwina Harvey

Another of the books I was sent a while ago with the hope I’d give a review. I’ll try to be comprehensible or even understandable.

This is a series of short stories written by Australian writer, Edwina Harvey. As always she aims to write an ending we’re not expecting. Not only that but she seems to also write stories we’re not expecting, forget about the twist at the end but it’s the story that is different. I feel some of them are here to make us think about what’s really happening in the world.

Let’s look at the some of the first few stories. I don’t want to tell you everything so I’ll just look at a handful.

Chippies

Where vaccination has been taken to the nth degree and you can’t get a housing loan without a completed immunisation certificate. And you’d think this would be the punch line but you’d be entirely wrong. It might be the aim of the story but it’s not at all the punch line. I can’t say any more for fear of spoilers. Nicely written. I read this book a few weeks ago when things got really mad in my life. When I picked it up again today to scan through a little I needed to read more not just as a reminder but also because I got hooked (I wouldn’t dare say I’d forgotten the twist at the end).

No Pets Allowed

Of dragons and kings. One of those is correct and I’m not saying which for spoilers. I did enjoy this one though. It made immense sense, although the twist at the end could be interpreted a couple of different ways.

Where the Last Humans Went

This story paints a bleak picture of the future. I’m not sure Harvey feels the internet is worth the while. I’ve been reading a number of stories recently about humanity, this is just one and it’s colouring my thinking.

Teach Your Children Well

Short and sweet but oh so hard to swallow. There are some decisions we need to make in life which are very hard cope with. As parents we get to help our children make them, doesn’t make them easy. No sugar added to this one, medicine is expensive enough as it is without adding anything extra.

Only Women Bleed

I loved this story, except for the love interest. It’s got vampires, it’s got employment, it’s got a murder. It’s the sort of story that only a menopausal woman who understands what it feels like to get past that stage in life can write. And you’re thinking you know what it’s about? You need to read it first.

Essentially (my most overused word of the week) I loved this book. It has all the elements I love about short stories. Words in the right order, suspense, twists at the end and all by an Australian author. It also illustrates why writers should just keep writing short stories throughout their lifetime. Some of these were written 30 years ago while others are much newer. You get to republish them and get paid again, it may need a little polishing but most authors feel their work continually needs polishing until the publisher drags it out of their cold, dead hands….hang on, Harvey’s still with us, what am I saying.

I’m sure you want to go out and buy it straightaway so here’s a link for it. I wouldn’t mention Christmas stockings, much.