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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Book Review: So Far, So Near by Mat Coward


I once read somewhere that a good story is either about ordinary people doing extraordinary things, or extraordinary people doing ordinary things. That definition fits Mat Coward’s short story collection So Far, So Near very well indeed. There are ordinary people, like a grandmother who washes the air, or the five friends who see a UFO. There are extraordinary people, like the aliens living among us who cook a fried breakfast or live in an old people’s home. The whole collection of seventeen stories is written in a friendly, informal style with a wry sense of humour. Many are written in the first person, allowing the narrator to include details on the banalities of life along with comments on the extraordinary. It also allows us to appreciate the narrator’s bewilderment at the unusual goings-on, so much so that at time we are none the wiser by the end of the tale. I’ll come back to that point in a moment. Meanwhile, a few of the highlights:

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

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