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Jumble Tails
by Steve Morris

Release Date: 28th Oct 2010
ISBN: 978 1 9077 2801 3
RRP: £5.99

Average Customer Rating: 
(5.0 based on 1 rating)

Some fun, some foolery and lots of short stories...

Seen as the cast-offs of stories that weren’t good enough to warrant novelisation; short stories have a bit of bad rep. Morris challenged this preconception with his earlier collection In all Probability with a great degree of success, so it is perhaps no surprise that encouraged, he has produced a further compilation of shorts for our consumption.

As with In all Probability, Jumble Tales is a mixed bag. Our favourites are One-Nil and Get it Out of Your System. Both offer a unique perspective of their protagonists and are brimming with humour, irony and ridiculously sublime wit. Each story possesses the now familiar unflinchingly open, matter-of-fact style that is synonymous with Morris’ writing; but as with its predecessor not all stories are made equal and there are a worryingly high percentage of duds in Jumble Tales.

In some ways, this is an improvement on In all Probability: the writer’s style is more cohesive, there is more confidence in the storytelling... in other respects, this is a disappointment. Not least due to the surprisingly poor editing and the uninspiring book cover. But to give the author his dues; few authors can carry-off short stories without them lacking depth, adequate characterisation or sufficient interest. Not a problem for Morris.

Yes, this still remains the vestige of the tea break or to banish waiting room boredom: but that doesn’t make it any the less laudable or enjoyable. Think of it as the You’ve Been Framed or the Oops TV of books: a veritable jumble of entertaining fun shorts.

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01 December 2010: Nicolle wrote:
This book suprised me, it was better than 'In all Probability' which was great and made this fantastic!

My favourite story was 'Ships that pass' which was a twisted romance and more akin to real life. The romance that developed, the guy being oblivious, and the car breaking down on their 'first date' were all ironic and true to life events. It is full of ironic and believable twists and turns which makes the story light hearted and fun. The ending surprised me, I did not link Leisa to the attack and I never would've thought a man would wait for his fairly new lover to come out of prison.

'Dead Eye'-one of my favourites from 'In all Probability'- was developed and we gained more depth of information about the character of dead eye. He really fascinated me, and I really do believe that if someone was so committed to something they could achieve what dead eye did (minus the dieing part of course). His old school pal who was interviewed by the press frustrated him as they only wanted 'juicy' information, this is so true to real life!

Overall the book was great and I thoroughly enjoyed all of the short stories. Steven Morris really has opened my eyes to the art of the short story, can't wait to read more!

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