In these short stories it s the ordinary things that turn out to be most extraordinary the history of a length of fabric, say, and a forgotten jacket Two sisters quarrel over an inheritance and a new baby a child awake in the night explores the familiar rooms of her home, strange in the dark a housekeeper caring for a helpless old man uncovers secrets from his past ThIn these short stories it s the ordinary things that turn out to be most extraordinary the history of a length of fabric, say, and a forgotten jacket Two sisters quarrel over an inheritance and a new baby a child awake in the night explores the familiar rooms of her home, strange in the dark a housekeeper caring for a helpless old man uncovers secrets from his past The first steps into a turning point and a new life are made so easily and carelessly the stories focus in on crucial moments of transition, often imperceptible to the protagonists A girl accepts a lift in a car with some older boys, or a young woman reads the diaries she comes across when she s housesitting Small acts have large consequences, and some of them reverberate across decades things fantasised in private can reach out to affect other people, for better and worse An older woman recovering from serious illness speaks to a lonely young man on a train an old friend brings bad news to a dinner party a schoolteacher in the throes of a painful affair in 1914 has mixed feelings about her pupils suffragette craze The real things that happen to people, the accidents that befall them, are every bit as mysterious as their longings and their dreams.Bad Dreams shows yet again that Tessa Hadley is a master of her art, one of the very finest writers at work in Britain today.
Bad Dreams and Other Stories In these short stories it s the ordinary things that turn out to be most extraordinary the history of a length of fabric say and a forgotten jacket Two sisters quarrel over an inheritance and a new
I d rate this 3.5 stars Thanks to Diane for the inspiration to read this.So let s get this out of the way first contrary to what the title and the cover design of this book may lead you to believe as it did me , this is not a collection of horror stories, or tales of the macabre In fact, if any of the stories in this new collection cause you to have, well, bad dreams, it is because of the immensely accurate way Tessa Hadley captures everyday life and the single moments when things change.The 10 [...]
Although I have tried, several times in fact, to read Hadley s fiction, they for me never resonated Her writing is elegant, even beautiful, but despite the top notch writing I never succeeded Yet, from the moment I picked up this her newest book of nine shirt stories I was hooked These stories I found phenominal.Each story contains things that make up the most mundane of lives, but there is one particular moment in each that will have an effect that changes things Small things that have huge con [...]
When I think of Tessa Hadley s books, I picture a certain quality of light I see piercing yellow shafts of sunlight filling airy, wood floored rooms and lowering over suburban English gardens to create languid summer evenings I think of childhood s sense of possibility and adolescence s gently scary feeling of new freedoms opening up And, even when the story lines are set in the present day, I imagine the calm sophistication of 1950s 70s fashions smart sweater sets and skirts, or flowing hippie [...]
These stories are all stunning They are exquisitely perfect Why didn t I enjoy them I guess I felt they didn t need to be read, or written These could have been written in 1980, or 1890 They follow the same tone and structure of the great stories written by writers of the naturalist school in the late 19th century e.g de Maupassant This same sort of story continued to be published with frequency throughout the 20th century in the New Yorker, and on into this century most stories in this collect [...]
By way of lazy recommendation as well as the 5 s , after reading the opening story of Bad Dreams I immediately bought the rest of Hadley s short stories.
This is a collection of stories about ordinary people and places and ordinary happenings, but all with a hint of mystery and deep, ruminating observation of the human experience I like Tessa Hadley s writing style very much and there are a few stories in this collection that I really enjoyed But overall, I was underwhelmed by this book The stories all began to run together in my mind and some felt unfinished This is the first I ve read of Hadley s work, but I will certainly pick up something els [...]
Tessa Hadley is a god.
This is the sixth of Hadley s books I ve read, and up until now I had contrary to most critical opinion considered her a better novelist than short story writer I enjoyed her previous two collections and they contain some memorable pieces but I wasn t wowed by them So what a surprise to read Bad Dreams and to find it for me her strongest book to date in either form just a brilliantly written set of stories.
From the title I expected unpleasantness, if not actual horror, in these stories, but mostly they are gentle tales of discomfort unhappiness is too strong, even Girls who feel out of place in their family but do all right when they grow up, and that kind of thing I see that Tessa Hadley was born in 1956 and in many cases the characters are that age if the main character is a child the setting is the 1960s, if a young adult it s the 1970s, etc But not all One story is set in 1914 The writing is [...]
I enjoyed these short stories from Tessa Hadley I ve read a couple of her novels, and especially loved The Past which I ve recommended to many customers at work It seemed a natural transition from Hunt s The Dark Dark to these grounded but equally meaningful stories of women of all ages and walks of life Both collections hold a truth at their kernel that life is often dangerous for women.
Short stories are a snippet in time to me Hadley is a master Decisions reverberate far into the future while reading, one feels as if they are hanging on by a thread, about to slip into something they can t take back, should they want to I m eager now to read of Hadley s work.
This was a tough book to rate The stories are lessons in craft, exquisite in detail I caught myself burrowing through for the silk scarf at the bottom of the baggage Flight It wasn t always there Like readers before me, I had to wonder if I had read some of the stories before An Abduction tops that list, but a girl s brief flirtation with wildness is a common tale that perhaps should be told over and over again The impermanence and possibility of change or the threat of change seems to be a thre [...]
I d give this book 2.5 3 stars me this was like a Joyce Carol Oates light.well crafted stories without the dark twists that I enjoy I love short stories but some of these just felt like they didn t make sense or were unfinished Currently reading Dis Mem Ber by JCO and I m liking the intensity of her writing .
I have not been a big short story reader but am developing an appreciation In a few short pages, a good writer can deliver a good emotional punch or jolt you into a memory that was long buried Not sure about the title of this collection because nothing hideous happens yay Real life can be hideous enough.
Tessa Hadley has a way of getting right to the core of her characters and these short stories are finely crafted slices of deeply revealing real life.
One of the finest collections of short stories I ve read in a while I read a lot of fiction and non fiction, not usually short stories, but these stories had me completely engaged.
I m not really a fan of short stories as I like to becoming emotionally attached to characters in a story However, Hadley manages that in nearly every story in the collection, despite the short amount of time spent with them, they are memorable and distinct characters.The stories tend to look at women and I think it s fair to say women who are unhappy for whatever reason I literally devoured it over the space of two commutes.
I can t remember why I wanted to read this book, or why I put myself on the waiting list for it I read the first three stories, and they were OK, but they weren t very interesting or insightful.
You enter Hadley s world in a pedestrian low key way and unwrap each story as a startling pleasure I felt as though I was constantly being tipped toward an edge in such a subtle way The joy is in all the wonderful tricks of observation and day to day life bubbling through to become tender extraordinary dislocated moments.
A stirring volume of short stories each sketched with the intensity and character insight of a novel Small exquisite worlds perfect in their brevity.
Some stories were better than others Really disliked the last story.
DNF Read the first 4 and gave up I m a fan of short stories but I was not impressed.
I received an Advanced Reader s Copy from a giveaway An Abduction A teenage girl gets abducted by a group of boys one summer for a couple days, and the experience leaves an impression on her This was an interesting coming of age story, yet if felt kind of detached and dreamlike though I wonder if this was the intention 3 5 The Stain A woman takes up a job as a caretaker for an old man and they develop a bond This was an interesting exploration of family dynamics, and fantasies we build about tho [...]
This is a collection of ten short stories by English writer Tessa Hadley The following stories are included in the book The AbductionThe StainDeeds Not WordsOne Saturday MorningExperienceBad DreamsDelightUnder the Sign of the MoonHer Share of SorrowSilk BrocadeI m a fan of the short story form and get that a short story has limited room to do its work Still, within its limits, a story can be powerful way to convey a time, place, emotion, or to introduce the reader to unusual characters I don t w [...]
Tessa Hadley s short stories are always deceptive, in a good way They come off as small tales of ordinary people a child plagued by nightmares, a housekeeper, two sisters at odds over the sale of their parents home , often in mundane situations But what Hadley brings to their stories is a remarkable level of authenticity of character She has mastered the language of thought, of interior emotions like few other writers today These are people who think as we tend to think, who feel in the ways tha [...]
This is a fine collection of short stories from a writer I haven t read before The opening story, An Abduction , surprised and impressed me, with its dreamlike take on a peculiar memory I loved The Stain , with its exploration of age, class, stunted ambitions and secrets Probably the stand out story for me One Saturday Morning had some stunningly sad scenes filtered through the eyes of a poorly understanding naif, something of a recurring theme Experience shows the writer in her strongest scab p [...]
This was my first time reading Tessa Hadley, and it will not be the last I loved her short stories They demonstrated so well how all lives, no matter how small and ordinary, are full of intensity inside In each story, an action or event that seems inconsequential and negligible at the moment, turns out to be something which will be remembered, sometimes even regretted, forever.Hadley herself explains in best in one of the stories There was no violent shock, only a settled change, and the realisa [...]
It s always hard to rate a short story collection as some stand out as being excellent and some leave less of an impression I also have a theory that short stories shouldn t be read in one go like a novel they should be read in between other books, preferably reading one story in a sitting and then reading another one at least a few days later So I read this collection over a number of months and thought it was exceptional Nobody can nail an emotion or an impression like Tessa Hadley A lightbulb [...]
I think I found this from some Googled list of best collections of short stories I m so glad I did I forced myself to stretch it out and read it in two sittings, because it was so good A few of the stories ended a little abruptly I hoped for of a resolution But that s common in short stories Authors do that a lot, it seems to be what they think short stories should be, little snapshots of a moment, with no real end I disagree, but I don t dislike this book just because of that It was just reall [...]
A young Woman Disappears and her family never realizes An elder care worker learns something disturbing about her chargeMiss Mulhouse, Edith, school girls crazes, suffragettes before the war and the French Cupboard Solitude, a Piano and News from a Near Stranger Experience The flat sir and the visitor Bad Dreams Flight Claire, the baby, a scarf in a purse Under the Sign of the Moon enigmatic, tots with Strangers on a Train, selfish drug use and Ghost narratives Her Share of Sorrow Lady Carole an [...]