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  • Writer's pictureMandy McHugh

Reality and Other Stories, John Lanchester: A Review

With such an interesting cover and short story concept, I was thrilled to have my wish granted by NetGalley for an eARC and quickly dove in.

A reality show. An annoying in-law. A mysterious guest at an exclusive retreat. All of these and more are subjects found in Reality and Other Stories. I liked this collection. Right off the bat, I will say I love a good short story collection and went in with high hopes based on Lanchester's writing and accolades. I wasn't disappointed, but I also didn't fall head over heels in love, either. For the most part, I found the twists to be on the predictable side and the exposition to get there didn't produce as big a pay off as warranted. I enjoyed the set up and writing style a great deal. But take, for example, Reality: The characters are flat (purposely) and the conflict isn't urgent. I expected there to be a bigger twist or a reveal that turned my stomach, and while I thought the composition was done well, I was left wanting more. Overall, Reality and Other Stories is a quick read and a decent collection that might pair well with some literary classics in a classroom setting, but I'm not sure I would eagerly revisit on my own. Big thanks to Norton and NetGalley for granting my wish in exchange for honest review consideration.


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