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Ons the dizzying abyss of loss and the elaborate memories we construct against it resulting in a book that co. This collection of short stories contains the underlying themes of fear futility and the uncertainty of life As always Byatt s prose is beautiful to read but this collection leaves one with a sense of unease

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Sugar and Other Stories

Mpels us to inhabit other lives and returns us to our own with new knowledge compassion and a sense of wonder. Every time I read Byatt I find myself choosing my words carefully for the hour or two after I put the book down Her word choice is always so precise and her tone so controlled yet revealing I especially loved the title story and the line None of these words none of these things recall him The gold winged fire haired figure in the doorway is and was myth though he did come back he was there at that time and I did make that leap Perhaps my favorite description of the futility and necessity of words

A.S. Byatt ¼ 2 Review

AS Byatt's short fictions collected in paperback for the first time explore the fragile ties between generati. I felt very conflicted about this book The majority of stories in it were extremely unpleasant and several The Dried Witch In the Air so painful I couldn t read them in full Byatt is not at all in her best in the realistic short story medium her plots stop short in that maddening manner so common to modern short story authors so it s as if the last third of the story itself remains unwritten and only a few times at the end of On the Day that EM Forster Died in parts of Racine and the Tablecloth does she achieve that true compression of theme and time which is necessary in the form of good short stories She also seems very preoccupied with death and the impossibility of an afterlife to a distressing extent for the reader if not for her The stories themselves lack the fine observation of characters over years which give depth to novels like Still Life and the rich varied intellectual tapestry of dozens of different ideas that enlivens Babel Tower and Possession In this she is interestingly unlike her b te noire D H Lawrence whose short stories are far finer than his novels I also confess my interest in this collection was stirred by her supposedly handing the book to an interviewer to use for personal backgroundAnd yet the final two stories Precipice Encurled serving perhaps as a kind of mini Possession or rough sketch for Angels and Insects and Sugar which is explicitly openly a story about the storytelling novelist and her fabricating mother herself are amazing well worth the price of the book redeeming and rescuing everything else So I don t really know how to rate his book I greatly disliked over nine tenths of it But that final tenth was fantastic


10 thoughts on “Sugar and Other Stories

  1. says:

    It is always a little sad to reach the point where there is no fiction to read by a favourite writer let's hope she still has to come This was Byatt's first collection of stories the last book she published before Possession and although it lacks the thematic unity of most of her later story collections it still contains some fine writing There are some recurring themes death two of the stories involve ghosts and how real life inspires the

  2. says:

    I felt very conflicted about this book The majority of stories in it were extremely unpleasant and several The Dried Witch In the Air so painful I couldn't read them in full Byatt is not at all in her best in the realistic short story medium; her plots stop short in that maddening manner so common to modern short story authors so it's as if t

  3. says:

    I must admit to being completely in awe of AS Byatt I am always struck by her ualities of great luminous intelligence her keen eye her amazing sense for detail especially emotional detail I wonder what it's like to be her and just be seeing so much and understanding so much I get the sense of this incredibly rich inner life so complex and layered and full of possibility Reading her makes the world seem bigger and denser

  4. says:

    Racine and the Tablecloth This is such a deeply felt story that it’s hard to avoid wondering if the central conflict between Emily an awkward unpopular bookish girl who writes brilliantly and the headmistress of her school who patronizingly distrusts Emily’s narrow focus on writing to the exclusion of traditional feminine virtues is drawn at least in part from Byatt’s own childhood Be that as it may it

  5. says:

    This collection of short stories contains the underlying themes of fear futility and the uncertainty of life As always Byatt's prose is beautiful to read but this collection leaves one with a sense of unease

  6. says:

    Complex and beautifully worded this was a very uneven read for me I enjoyed the first Racine and the Tablecloth and last Sugar most with On the Day that EM Forster Died coming in third I loathed The Dried Witch I p

  7. says:

    Read the first two stories then gave up Very wordy wasn't in the mood

  8. says:

    This is one of those books that makes me wish it were possible to use half stars in rating it It's a very uneven collection certainly not a four star book but the best stories in it are good enough that three stars seems a bit paltry Byatt's command of language is as always excellent and I can only admire the way she seems to ignore all rules about story making and to write only to please herself and work out

  9. says:

    Every time I read Byatt I find myself choosing my words carefully for the hour or two after I put the book down Her word choice is always so precise and her tone so controlled yet revealing I especially loved the title story and the line None of these words none of these things recall him The gold winged fire haired figure in the do

  10. says:

    My favorite story in this collection is The July Ghost a poignant ghost story It's not a genre that one associates with AS Byatt but she's superb at rendering atmosphere so it should really come as no surprise that she succeeds so well Someone I forget who once said that all ghost stories are about loss Case in