The old adage about not judging a book by its cover should be amended, in the case of Matthew Kneale’s latest, to not judging it by its blurb. Nowhere is there any indication that this is a collection of short stories. On the contrary, it is described simply as a ‘new work’, and the diversity of the settings, from Europe to North and South America, to Africa and the Middle East, is made to seem the expansiveness of a single fiction.
Such equivocation does a disservice to Kneale by suggesting that the many admirers of his exceptional novel English Passengers will be unwilling to follow him on to the smaller canvas. It does a disservice to the reader, who will be under the impression that he or she is embarking on