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The Complete Short Stories

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  53 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
The complete life work of Agnes Owens in short stories - everything from Gentlemen of the West, Lean Tales, People Like That and 14 brand new unpublished stories. Witty and dark, Owens’ spare prose shocks and delights. Her talent for pithy, unsettling tales is as sharp as ever, confirming her place as one of Scotland’s finest contemporary writers.

’A terrific collection,’ -
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Paperback, 373 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Polygon
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MJ Nicholls
Read for The Dark Side, the final fourteen stories from Owens, published in this volume in 2008 (not that her work has a “light” side). These are shorter, blunter pieces than the earlier works, each offering its own miserable portrait of the murkier side of Scottish working-class existence, from the lecherous, drunken, unloving, and cruel to the even more so. Owens’s novellas and stories are some of the most incisive in the Scots canon and this volume is essential for fans of incisiveness and de ...more
Cheryl
After reading the first story in this collection I felt like I was on the verge of discovering a wonderful new writer. Except she's not new. The first story, Arabella, was terrific: mordantly black, funny, strong punchy narrative and descriptions.
That story remained one of the strongest, but there were many others too that delighted. The wicked black streak showed up periodically, especially in the later stories.
The writing is direct and concise. The author disappears, leaving only the reader a
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Alan
Why am I giving Agnes Owen 5 stars - is she as good as Joyce or Carver? Probably not, but she does precisely what she sets out to do with mordant wit and clever understatement. These stories are wonderful, their low key scenarios of pawning a TV or violence in a bus queue perfectly illuminate the corners of working class Scotland Owen writes about. I haven't read them all yet, dipping in on bus journeys or waiting for the kettle to boil - they're all quite short - but every one hits home. A ...more
Tuck
Dec 29, 2010 Tuck rated it it was amazing
i had lots to say about this at 2am, now its 10am. at work. not much to say.
one thing, "gentlemen of the west" is very much like "tortilla flat" by steinbeck.
two thing, never mess with a witch.
three thing, how can you be a misanthrope and be kind, generous, and empathetic at the same time? owens' characters can.
Carla
Apr 07, 2013 Carla rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this complete short stories book of Agnes Owen. Some of the stories have a sinister Roald Dahlness about them, which I loved. I really enjoyed the stories where the main character meets a German tourist and the one entitled Rose - definitely my favourites from the collection. I wish I could rate this more a 3.5. The stories give an insight into living in the poorer areas of Scotland, especially during the Thatcher years.
Paul
Jun 08, 2010 Paul rated it it was amazing
Breath-takingly good short stories, memorable characters and once you've read these you'll be buying it for your friends' birthdays for months to come.
Kate
An absolutely brilliant and not-nearly-as-well-known-as-she-ought-to-be Scottish short story writer. It's a joy to have all of her stories collected in one volume.
Jaslo
Nov 01, 2010 Jaslo rated it it was amazing
wonderful, fun, Scottish, depressing, poignant, boozy, Scottish.
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Jan 10, 2012 Lyndsey rated it did not like it
some very odd stories...not really my cup of tea!
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Agnes Owens was a Scottish author. She was born in Milngavie in 1926 and spent most of her life on the west coast of Scotland. She has been married twice and raised seven children, also working as a cleaner, typist and factory worker.

Via https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnes_O...
More about Agnes Owens...

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