Sunday, 17 November 2013
Yellow Cake- Margo Lanagan
I sometimes struggle with short stories, especially when they feel rushed or lack a solid conclusion. The other downfall is that it is hard to build up an empathy for a character in so few words, much moreso than in a full length novel.
Yellow Cake is a diverse collection of short stories, magical and other worldly in both style and content. There are ten stories in all, mostly 15-30 pages each in length. I must admit that some of the stories in this collection were not to my taste, although in a selection such as this that is perhaps not surprising. However, the stories I did enjoy, in particular The Golden Shroud based around Rapunzel's plight in the tower and Into the Clouds on High, a story of loss within a family unit, have made a lasting impression and I am sure will stay with me for a long time to come.
Yellow Cake might not appeal to everyone. The tales are fantastical and told through elegant prose. The fairytale-like storytelling is original and quirky and there were points where I found myself craving more emotion from the characters- the stories where Lanagan explores intense feeling and longing are the most successful.
Enjoy the remainder of National Short Story week. This genre is a great way to explore new authors, themes and writing styles and is well worth celebrating!
Yellow Cake is out now, published by David Fickling Books.
5/10 for the collection as a whole
With thanks to the publishers for providing me with a copy of this book in return for an honest review.