Sunday, 16 August 2015

AN UGLY WAY TO GO by Iain Pattison

4 out of 5 stars

Short story collection

On Amazon UK HERE

Reviewed by me as part of Rosie Amber's Review Team

Iain Pattison's 'quintessentially quirky tales' is a collection of short stories of varying length, all except one of which are in a broad fantasy/humour genre.  The exception is 'Hampered', about a couple who take a balloon ride, which is rather touching.

The book is very well presented and all the stories are competently written, with some amusing and well put together turns of phrase.  As is usually the case with short story collections, they varied in quality.  I very much liked 'A Rum Tale', a comic book style story about a pirate; cleverly done and atmospheric, with its over the top characters.  Other favourites were 'Open Sesame', about an unhappily married couple facing a zombie apocalypse, and 'Interview With The Vampire' (clue's in the name); both of these were excellent, with a funny and unexpected turnaround right at the end.  The end of 'Crowning Glory' was good, too.  Others were less well executed; the ideas were great, but I think the key to writing a good short-story-with-a-twist is that the twist MUST be unexpected (otherwise it's like guessing the punchline to a joke!), and come at the very end, ie, the last thing you read, not two pages before the end; with a couple of them I knew exactly what was going to happen, and the 'twist' went on too long.  However, all the stories were highly readable; none of them were boring. 

A guest story by Chloe Banks, 'Missing Signs and Wonders', provides an enjoyable end to the collection.  I spent a pleasant couple of hours reading these, and would recommend the book to any lovers of short stories.


  1. Some fun sounding stories here, thanks for the review.

  2. Yes, Terry, many, many thanks for the review. Really appreciate it. Thrilled you liked A Rum Tale. It was huge fun to write. Great to know it's fun to read too!

    1. I think Open Sesame was my favourite, it actually made me laugh out loud! Completely unexpected.