The Faber Book of Best New Irish Short Stories 2004–5 by David Marcus (ed) - review by Norman Jeffares

Norman Jeffares

From the Tiger’s Thicket

The Faber Book of Best New Irish Short Stories 2004–5


Faber & Faber 336pp £12.99

Do the sophisticated children of this age know the exciting anticipation of approaching a lucky dip? A lucky dip is what the very title of this collection of stories suggests, for it proclaims itself the Faber Book of Best New Irish Short Stories. Best and new? New, certainly. Best – a very good chance of this, since the lucky dip's contents have been ordered by David Marcus, no new hand at editing anthologies, himself a novelist of distinction whose best, Land Not Theirs (1986), resonates in the mind.

Such resonating is something we expect of a good short story, whatever its genre. Is it to be a slice of life, or a tale in which the author inserts, early on, a bomb timed to explode when the last page is reached? One memorable for the evocation of character,

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