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Tales from the Labyrinth

Michael Acton and Tony McNamara

Average Review Rating Average Rating 7/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Marwell Publishing

Published : 2002

Copyright : Michael Acton and Tony McNamara 2002

ISBN-10 : PB 0-9543699-0-4
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-9543699-0-3

Publisher's Write-Up

Tales from the Labyrinth is a compilation of short stories by two up-and-coming new writers. The subjects are as diverse as the award winning 'Seaboots', to spine chilling ghost stories, mysteries, crime stories and humorous tales.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Chrissi (180303) Rating (7/10)

Review by Chrissi
Rating 7/10
This is a collection of short stories by the two separate authors, having quite distinct styles, producing easily read prose. The subject matter is as diverse as ghost stories to mysteries to Father Christmas.

Michael Acton tends to write slightly shorter stories with a deft hand, observing particularly older people very effectively. Some of these are not so much short stories as observational images; in particular Molly’s Birthday Treat and Tonight, My Love are brief snapshots in time of elderly ladies who are rather neglected by the world around them. The sadness of these two rather isolated people, one who would like to tell the world that it is her birthday but not knowing anyone to tell, and the other waiting for her death to be reunited with her lover, are just a page long but are eloquent and tightly written, as though he knows what he wishes to evoke and is content not to twiddle with the words once on paper.

I particularly liked Tony MacNamara’s Magpies, Magic and The Pieman. I have never thought of Magpies as having opinions about people, like our description of magpies as thieves. The Pieman and Magic are lovely, the first story sounds like a pair of old fashioned tinkers chatting, one so much more worldly wise than the other, able to read newspapers and telling his companion that he should keep up with world events, whereas the other story has them both in the snow, “off-piste”, and ends with one asking the other if anyone would be interested in their adventures, and to be honest, yes, I think that I would be interested in seeing some more of the world from the view of a magpie.

This is really quite a nice collection of short stories, although one or two are rather predictable, there are a couple of gems, such as Molly’s Birthday Treat and That Guilty Feeling. As I have said, I like Michael Acton’s characterisations, whereas Tony McNamara seems to lean towards slightly more off-beat stories

The combination of the two makes for an enjoyable collection that is well worth the modest cover price even if the tome is a little slim.
Chrissi (18th March 2003)

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