Friday, August 23, 2013

Read A Good Book: Making Sense by Jim Murdoch

Jim Murdoch’s collection of short stories in Making Sense is his best work yet. Twenty stories that encompass a wide range of personalities, lifestyles, and ages provide perspectives on everything from gambling to intrigues to fetishes. There are also a variety of “voices” as some are written in dialect that require you to read the story aloud in order to sound out the character. Several of the characters struck a chord with me, reminding me of people I knew, and I bet you will find the same in these pages.

There are some great lines in these stories that hooked my attention. In “Coping,” the opening line is: “If there’s one thing that annoys me about my mother, it’s this: She watches life with the sound turned off.” How can I resist? With those of us who have living mothers, we immediately begin thinking about our own. The story entails a discovered intrigue and the mother learns to live with the news, not say a word, and move on through hearing only what she wants to hear. Most of us know such people and it’s a story you might be familiar with yourself.
Another story, about a woman discovering her man is into men, has a sense of humor to it which I appreciate: “A week later I barged though the back door laden with half-a-dozen shopping bags and with my purse gripped firmly between my teeth to find him in flagrante dilecto in the hall with the bloke from 4G but what the heck? I guess they couldn’t make it to the bed in time. We’d done it in the hall before. It wasn’t exactly our place but I quite liked doing it there…” Honestly this made me laugh with the “not exactly our place” and the rest of the story is light considering the heaviness of the situation. Life goes on, is what I take away from the story.

I only revealed a couple of the stories to you, there are some funny and wonderful surprises in the pages of this collection, Making Sense, by Jim Murdoch. If you enjoyed this review, you may purchase a copy for 8.50 (pounds) by following the link below:

Thanks always for reading, please drop in again soon…

1 comment:

Jim Murdoch said...

Thanks for that, Paula. I’m always fascinated by which stories jump out and catch people’s attention and I’m glad you managed to get through the dialect stories. I worried a bit about including them but it does add another layer to the whole ‘making sense’ theme. I’m not sure that this is my best work but then what I consider my best work is not nearly as accessible as these stories are; I guess it all depends on what one means by ‘best’.

The hardest thing with this collection was the editing. Nineteen stories, nineteen different voices. At least with a novel no matter how long once you got into the zone you’re there. Took me seven month just to edit this book and that’s not counting the time others spent on it after me. I take self-editing seriously. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have an editor and a proof-reader but you should leave them as little to do as possible.

The price by the way is for the paperback in the USA. In the UK it’s £5.99 including postage: the important thing is to get read and cover your costs not try to make money at least not at the level I’m at. Yesterday my wife uploaded the ebook which is available from Smashwords for $1.99.