Show Them A Good Time By Nicole Flattery – A Review

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Publication Date: 21st March 2019

When the guys over at Bloomsbury contacted me asking whether I would like a copy of Nicole Flattery’s short story collection, Show Them A Good Time, it came at quite a fortuitous moment in my reading life.  As you already know if you’re a regular here, I have recently developed quite a liking for short story collections, having previously been averse.

I’m now firmly a short story convert and can often be found whiling away my time in a lovely bubble bath with a short story or two for company.  They are the perfect bitesize bath companion.

This collection was sold to me as a collection of stories exploring types, men and women, their assigned roles and meanings in today’s society.

These stories are fresh and contemporary, they can be quite dark at times but there’s a hint of caustic humour running through them.  A woman narrates her string of unssuccesful, dissatisfying dates when the end of the world is imminent, two female college students, both of them not fitting into college life come together to perform a stage play to their fellow students based on their past hurts and disappointments.

A patricular favourite of mine is The Track, the story of an Irish woman living in US in the shadow of her famous comedian boyfriend, a man who has to listen to a track of canned laughter every night to feel validated.  His girlfriend on the other hand gains secret satisfaction by anonymously trolling him in online forums.

Whilst most of the protagonists are young twenty-something’s and the focus is heavily on relationships, I still found I could connect with them which is always a concern of mine being a 40 year old mother who has been with her partner since she was 15.

These are just the kind of fresh, incisive, sharp stories I enjoy reading and wish I could write myself! (Who doesn’t wish they could write eh?).

I didn’t quite connect with all of the stories but that’s a rarity for me and I always say that I don’t have to understand a short story to take enjoyment from it.

On the other hand the characters are all so well developed and I did feel a connection of sorts with each of them, which is often not easy to do in a short story collection, characters can tend to feel a little transient.

This is a very quirky, fresh, intelligent collection that I would highly recommend you add to your short story TBR.

Thank you very much as always to the publisher for the review copy.

See you soon.

Amanda – Bookish Chat xx

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