My daughter, Becca got married in September (it was a lovely wedding!) and I met her in-laws for the first time the day before. We got on very well, and I didn’t know that Chris’s Dad had written fiction until they sent us a flyer for a book launch event for his published collection of short stories.
So of course I bought the book and read it with the inevitable anxiety of ‘what will I say if it’s awful and I hate it!?’. Well, thankfully it is far from awful – it was obvious right away that Ian is a talented writer, and I didn’t hate it. Anyone who has read a few of my reviews might know that I’m not generally a fan of short stories, but I did enjoy reading this book. Here is a cut and paste of the review I left on Amazon:
A quote from one of the stories in The Day Chuck Berry Dies sums up how I feel about the whole book: ‘a combination of overt nostalgia and contemporary mischief, brimming with optimism and displaying a real talent for the use of language.’
Many of the stories are coming of age tales, often people later in life looking back on defining moments from their youth sometimes with fondness, or regret, or wistful wonderings about roads not taken.
My personal favourite story was ‘All About The Touch’, because it is the only one with supernatural or magical realism element, and that is a genre I very much enjoy.
As well as reading on my kindle, I like to listen to audiobooks when walking or running, and the one I was listening to while reading this book was the much hyped ‘Exactly What You Mean’ by Ben Hinshaw, another collection of short stories (although loosely connected and called a novel) and I couldn’t help comparing. In my opinion, The Day Chuck Berry Died is much superior. While both Ben Hinshaw and Ian Inglis are obviously gifted writers, I just found Inglis’s stories to be more engaging and satisfying and his was the book I looked forward to returning to.