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And Also Sharks

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  119 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Finalist for the 2012 Danuta Gleed Literary Award

A 2011 Globe and Mail Top 100 book

One of Kobo's Best Ebooks of 2011


The forlornly funny stories in And Also Sharks celebrate the socially awkward, the insecure, the unfulfilled, and the obsessed.

A disgruntled follower of a self-esteem blog posts a rambling critical comment. On the hunt for the perfect coffee table, a pr
Published February 1st 2013 by Cormorant Books (first published March 10th 2011)
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Community Reviews

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Kelsea Dawn Hume
It’s about time someone wrote some truly modern stories, and Jessica Westhead has done just that. Cat ladies, office drones, and Facebook induced break-ups abound in these believable short stories, which somehow still manage to be zany rather than terribly depressing.


1) You want to find a little humor in the tedium of everyday life.

2) You want to get into the habit of reading short literary fiction, but don’t want to start with something terribly dark.

3) You’re a fan of David Sedaris and
Jeff Bursey
More three and three quarters, really. I like the tonal control Jessica Westhead displays, and wonder what her stories would look like if she let the tartness and occasional sniping from her characters come out more. There are a lot of stories in this collection, perhaps a couple or so that could have been left out, making the book stronger. For those who think canadian short fiction is only the interminably boring Alice Munro and Mavis Gallant, check out _And Also Sharks_.
Awesome compilation of stories. From hilarious to thought-provoking, Westhead provides a little bit of everything. I loved that although she wrote many in first person (a POV I have trouble reading) I didn't realize it after about two sentences. Very talented writer. I can't wait to read more of her work.

Definitely recommend.
Every story has notable quotes but some stories seem unevenly paced. Some stories seem unexpectedly to race to the end in a final paragraph with a somewhat dissatisfactory resolution. Highlights include "Todd and Belinda Rivers of 780 Strathcona" and "We are All About Wendy Now."
Found in my mailbox on April 24 - a birthday surprise from DJO!

May 1, 2012

Okay, so I'm 3/4 of the way through this book of stories and have come to the conclusion that I am a horrible person. I've been snickering, sometimes even laughing out loud, all the way through. It's not that these people are so funny. In fact the poor souls are quite miserable. So why am I laughing? I DON'T KNOW! Hence, my conclusion that I'm just a jerk.

I kind of knew that about myself. Take for instance the time I took
If you’ve been by Gin and Rhetoric before, you might know that I have a soft spot for short stories … especially quirky ones, so when I saw Jessica Westhead read from And Also Sharks a few months ago, I knew that I had to read it. And Also Sharks contains 15 short stories, each one telling the story of outsiders, misfits or weirdo’s. People who just don’t quite fit in to the established social norms. People that I like to call ‘socially retarded’. Not bad people, just awkward, uncomfortable peop ...more
better then shark week
Shannon Knight
My Auntie Val sent me this book from Canada (incidentally, people who send me books from Canada are always right up there on my top 10 list of favorite people); she met Jessica Westhead at her book club and got it signed for me, thinking I would love the book. And she was so right! These stories are funny and bleak and touching all at once, and sometimes you see your friends or coworkers in the characters, and sometimes you see yourself. I think The Plant Lady was my favorite.
Jennifer Whiteford
I read with Jessica Westhead in 2008 and will be reading with her again later this month, but I would have given this book 5 stars even if I'd never met her. These are wonderful short stories. Funny, current, at times devastating, but always well crafted. Each story is character-driven so the settings become secondary, but still all the scenes are easy to picture. I loved it.
Ann Douglas
A motley assortment of characters populate the stories in this collection. The stories are as unlike one another as the characters, and yet the narrative voice is steady -- always ironic. Enjoyable, particularly if you like quirky.
Robin Spano
Quirky & awesome. Seriously hard to put down. Don't read if you've just had Botox (or some other reason it's harmful to laugh). Jessica understands people's quirks - and communicates them - like a true literary genius.
John Degen
I have an audio interview with the author coming out in a couple weeks. You will hear my enthusiasm for the book then. See here for Book Room podcasts.
Wonderful, odd, quirky characters, often not sympathetic if one were to step back, but Westhead brings them and their humanity to life. I really enjoyed these.
Angela Misri
Just met the charming Jessica Westhead last night at the CBC Books Trivia Night, so I'm starting her book with her in mind!
I thought this was a fairly solid collection but after a few days I couldn't remember any of the details...
Carrie Marcotte
Solid set of short stories. Not too complicated but with enough whimsy to make them interesting to read.
Jerry Levy
Jessica can really weave a tale. There's not one story here that I didn't like
Very skillfully told, compelling stories. A wonderful collection.
Allison Baggio
Smart, well-written, tight sharp prose. And funny. Loved it.
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JESSICA WESTHEAD is a Toronto writer and editor, and one of the short-story-loving masterminds behind YOSS (Year of the Short Story). Her fiction has appeared in major literary journals in Canada and the United States, including Geist, The New Quarterly, and Indiana Review. Her novel Pulpy & Midge was published in 2007 by Coach House Books. Her short story collection And Also Sharks, published ...more
More about Jessica Westhead...
Pulpy and Midge The Lesson FPQ 5 Friend. Follow. Text.: #storiesFromLivingOnline Little Bird Stories, Volume 1

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