That Glimpse of Truth | Bookish Musings


The blurb of this book says it all: 'Profound, lyrical, shocking, wise: the short story is capable of almost anything'. And, I have to admit, the short story is a form I neglect once too often. Yet, after dipping in and out of this anthology – which boasts the '100 finest short stories – I'm stuck here asking myself why this is. In truth, I could not love the short story form more.

A Glimpse of Truth offers such a vast array of tales from a plethora of different authors – including many of my favourites, like Virginia Woolf, Kate Atkinson and Angela Carter. And it's a book which has carried me through the Autumn nights; I mean, what's better than candlelit evenings spent curled up in your bed, with the scent of chai lattes thick in the air, and the prospect of so many adventures at your fingertips? That's right: nothing.

In this 946-page collection, where one page you can be reading about a toymaker who's plagued by imperfections and the next, a complicated and intricate piece about a hunger artist, there's a charming sense of unpredictability to the collection.

[The previously mentioned short stories are two of my favourites (out of the ones I've been introduced to so far). That said, I have a soft spot Lizzie's Tiger by Angela Carter and Lord Emsworth and the Girl Friend by P.G. Wodehouse. Not to forget two incredible Halloween reads: The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe and "Oh Whistle, and I'll Come to You, My Lad" by M.R. James.]

Whilst flicking through this collection, I also can't help but think of the word SERENDIPITY (n.) the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way. As I mentioned, each turn of the page results in a completely unpredicted tale; and, often, these tales are pleasant surprises. For me, short stories definitely evoke this sense of serendipity – they're little gifts that completely encompass the idea of 'short but sweet'.

Yet, more than anything, reading this short story collection has made me want to write. Most likely because of a) this exposure to such varied storytelling and b) the brevity of the short story is less daunting than the sheer length of a novel. So, I'll end on this note: if you need me, I'll be curled up in my bed, candlelit and scented with chai lattes, my book in one hand and my pen in the other. 

Bookish Musings are unedited* rambles about certain books – often books I love dearly. Sometimes the posts have a point, sometimes the posts don't have a point till the very end, sometimes there's no point at all… but I don't know till I've finished writing it.
*Hopefully this explains a lot about the incomprehensibility

Are you a fan of short stories? Tell me some of your favourite collections to help last the Autumn/Winter nights! I'd definitely recommend this one.

6 comments:

  1. This looks like such an interesting collection! I totally get what you mean about the short stories making you want to write. Also, the serendipity thing is such an added bonus. Short stories also make me want to read more because they're like tasters for the authors work!

    This post is very beautiful by the way! I love the photos/gif and your writing is so natural! Hope you're having a good week!

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    1. It's definitely interesting! Oooh the point about them being like tasters is super accurate – my mum said almost exactly the same thing about them. :)

      And THANK YOU SO MUCH! That made my Thursday afternoon. :') Glad you enjoyed the post & I hope you enjoy all future bookish musings!

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    2. I'm loving the bookish musings posts! They're wonderful – I hope you have many more planned. Also loving the gifs hehe. :)

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    3. Hehe thanks again! And yep, I definitely do!

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  2. Oh, I picked that book up at every book store I went to last week when I was in London (at that was a lot!), and every time I decided to put it back down... And now I wonder why on Earth I did that?? :)

    I adore short stories and have so many unread collections on my shelves, that I decided to read at least 1 short story every day, and now I mix and match from all the different genres :)

    Some of my favourites that I can warmly recommend are mostly single-author collections such as Neil Gaiman's "Fragile Things", Michel Faber's "Fahrenheit Twins", Joyce Carol Oates' "The Female of the Species", anything by Roald Dahl (he is the master of the short story along with Poe of course), Stephen King's "Night Shift", and for multi-author collections, I really liked "Stories" edited by Gaiman and Al Sarrantoni. :)

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    1. Aw haha! I'm pretty sure it has been reduced by a lot on Amazon (if you use Amazon, that is). :)

      Short stories are such a wonderful form, and it's such a brilliant idea to read one a day. :) Mixing and matching from different genres sounds like so much fun!

      Thank you so much for all the recs! I'm a huge Gaiman fan and I feel slightly disloyal in the fact I haven't so much as glanced at Fragile Things. This is something I definitely need to amend! The Stephen King short stories also sounds great!

      Thanks for taking time to comment Camilla! :)

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