Published by: Ticonderoga Publications
ISBN 13: 9780980628883
Published: August 2010
Format reviewed: eVersion
Site: Author Site
Goodreads: Book Page
Stars: Four out of Five
- In Angela Slater’s ‘The Girl With No Hands’ we are given sixteen short stories (some less than two pages long) that re-image familiar myths and legends, and in turn, give us something new to think about. Most of these short stories are about women in different stages of their life, under different difficulties or blessings, and Slatter makes the reader care for each and every one of them, despite what she makes them do (and some of them really do some terrible things.) We see jealous stepmothers, brave little match-girls, sad mamas and caring zombie-wives, just to name a few.
While some of these stories may seem simple from one angle, there is a lot to be found in all of them, depending on what you’re looking for. Whether you want to be simply entertained or you’re searching for answers, there’s a lot to be enjoyed in this collection.
There’s a good blend here, some being more horror whilst others being closer to fantasy. There were quite a few surprising endings too, where she either bucks the social norm, or invites us into a well known fairy-tale, then changes the ending on us. In a very good way.
A problem I generally have with short stories is that I struggle to read more than one at one, because the stories usually tangle together and get confusing after a while. I didn’t have this issue at all with ‘The Girl with No Hands’, I was able to read chunks at a time, and was only able to put it down under the thought I wanted to savour the collection and not devour it all in the one day.
At the end of the collection there are paragraphs on each, where Slatter explains the genesis of each, which I found interesting. She also says where the stories have otherwise been published, which could lead you on to other great reads.
In the end though, all I really need to do is point out that there’s zombies involved. That should be enough to get anyone to read anything.
This book is published by a small independent press called ‘Ticonderoga Publications’, which used to mean it would be harder to get a hold of. Not these days! It’s available as an eBook on Kindle and also through Ingrams which means Amazon, Book Depository and Barns & Noble etc should also stock it.
This review was originally posted at SentientOnline on the 23rd July 2011.