Review – Glimmer and other stories by Nicola McDonagh

Seven short stories all with one thing in common: intrigue. As the title of this collection suggests Nicola McDonagh’s seven tales shift in the light, never quite settling in tangible form. From the opening story, the eponymous Glimmer, to the final tale Rousseau Suburban Jungle you won’t quite know where you’re being taken by the narrative.

But don’t take that as a criticism. McDonagh has absolute control over the writing and carefully leads the reader towards the final reveal. What you won’t find at the end of these stories are final sentence ‘gotchas’ a la HP Lovecraft, but evocative conclusions that continue to drift after the page is turned.

Some of the stories are rooted in the real world, such as Scarecrow, Ernest Thirk and the aforementioned Glimmer, whilst others like The Reclaimed Merman and Daub are more uncanny, straggling the line between the real and the perceived.

For me the stand out story was On the Eighth Day. I’m not even going to hint at the subject matter because it’s such an exquisite unexpected tale that you need to approach it with a clear mind and enjoy the full impact of a superb example of the art of short story telling.

Glimmer and other stories will appeal to readers who don’t want ideas prescribed and spoonfed to them. These stories give you the space to let the imagination roam.

Read more about Glimmer and other works by Nicola McDonagh on WordPress

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