Fascination

“Fascination” by William Boyd (U.K.)

Review

The quality of the writing style in this collection was what appealed most to readers. They loved the richness of the language and the different formats used in each story: from the classical to the contemporary; from the diary form to a series of jump cuts; from a menu to a video recorder! Readers enjoyed the diverse settings and characters, and felt that the author managed to capture the voice of his male protagonists really well and to a lesser extent the female ones. As a result, readers found themselves warming to some of them but not all. They found certain stories truly moving as they touched on the more fragile aspects of the human condition. Despite the inner turmoil faced by one or other of the characters, readers appreciated the humorous passages as well. Overall, they found the stories so well written that they would recommend any budding writer to read them and learn from a master of his craft! Some of the favourites were: “The Ghost of a Bird”, “Fantasia on a Favourite Waltz”, “Notebook No. 9” and “Incandescence”.

The book averaged an 8.2 out of 10.

Synopsis

Described as the finest storyteller of his generation, Boyd shows his mastery of the form as these stories range widely through time and space. In a brilliant array of styles and narratives we move from 1930s Germany to Los Angeles in the Second World War, from contemporary Oxford to 19th century Russia… Read more

Season 11 – “Short Stories” (Feb – Jun 2010)

“Last Evenings on Earth” by Roberto Bolano (Chile)
“I Think of You” by Ahdaf Soueif (Egypt)
“Fascination” by William Boyd (U.K.)
“Runaway” by Alice Munro (Canada)
“Sightseeing” by Rattawut Lapcharoensap (Thailand) *

Extra book:
“An Elegy for Easterly” by Petina Gappah (Zimbabwe) 

* The book club favourite
In italics, Nicola’s Coup de Cœur

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