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The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  804 ratings  ·  134 reviews
Twenty tales of lust and loss. These stories feature clockwork hearts, lascivious queens, paper men, island circuses, and a flooded world.

• On the island of Skye, an antlered girl and a tiger-tailed boy resolve never to be friends – but can they resist their unique connection?

• In an alternative 19th-century Paris, a love triangle emerges between a man, a woman, and a coin
Paperback, 143 pages
Published March 15th 2014 by Salt Publishing (first published March 3rd 2014)
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Oct 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
This is my first book by Kirsty Logan, and I'm glad I decided to pick up this collection first. If I'm new to an author, I attempt to read their work chronologically, and this was a wonderful debut collection of short stories.

I don't normally read much in the way of fairytales or magical realism, so this collection was a breath of fresh air. I thought it was very well written, with some really beautiful turns of phrase, and I tried to savour it because really I could have read through it in one
Kirsty Logan's debut collection of short stories combines magic, fantasy and sexuality, all related in lush, descriptive prose. Across twenty stories, the author uses a wide range of narrative techniques, settings and time periods; some of the tales are a few paragraphs long, others far meatier. There is always an element of the fantastic, but Logan always links this to more recognisable depictions of love and lust. The collection reminded me of Lucy Wood's Diving Belles, which also splices mode ...more
4.25/5. Kirsty Logan can do no wrong! I absolutely loved her other two books, The Gracekeepers and A Portable Shelter, and after now having read this one, her first short story collection, I can safely say that she's one of my absolute favourite authors.
All of her stories incorporate some sort of fairytale element, a few read like rewrites from well-known fairytales, but most stem entirely from her own imagination, a few could be considered lesbian erotica (which isn't what I usually read, but s
Arielle Walker
Some exquisitely lovely little tales in this collection. I would especially love to see the Disney film of Tiger Palace, where no one is "rescued" and the two women live happily ever after. The unrequited love retelling of Cinderella is also a hidden gem - a fresh retelling of Cinderella? Really? Could it be? (yes!) - though to be honest there is not a sour note to be found in the whole collection. Bittersweet, yes, and heartbreaking, but not sour. Some tales are better than others, and some are ...more
Sep 24, 2015 rated it liked it
This was just so lovely! I liked all the stories :) coin operated boy and tiger palace were my favourites! :)
Lauren James
Jan 05, 2019 added it
Shelves: lgbtqia
Disconcerting, imaginative, diverse and unforgettable - I am not usually a fan of short stories, but Kirsty Logan’s writing is irresistably readable.
Dec 02, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5-I thought this was beautifully written and some of the stories were gorgeous, but in general the collection didn't move me. This might be another case of hype raising my expectations too much. Sleeping Beauty, Coin-Operated Boys, and Matryoshka were probably my favorites.
Sep 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. I borrowed this from the Mitchell Library (which is, frankly, the most incredible bookish place I’ve ever visited). Having read both The Gracekeepers and A Portable Shelter, I already knew that I really enjoy Logan’s writing; she is creative and inventive, qualities which are often difficult to achieve, particularly in the field of contemporary fiction.

As with a lot of the strong short story collections which I have come across, I did not adore every tale here, but I did admire them a
Sanne (TheBookDutchess)
Update March 12th: I am still thinking about some of the stories in this book a LOT, I just loved them so much .. Even thought about making the ranking higher but there were just too many stories I didn't like as much in here ..


There were 5 star stories in here, and 2/3 star stories in here. I'm giving it 4 stars because I believe that even the 2/3 star stories will stick with me for a while, and I like that, and most of the stories were 4 to 5 stars.

My favourite stories were the title stor
Holly Dunn
Jun 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbt
4.5 stars. Delightful, sensual and mysterious. A fantastic collection.
Mar 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
In her debut collection, The Rental Heart, Kirsty Logan mixes a steampunk aesthetic with magical realism and a raw sexual energy. The stories move backwards and forwards through time, taking in modern Scottish estates, fin-de-siecle Paris and medieval castles, offering multiple viewpoints and narrative styles. Above all, The Rental Heart is characterised by an audacious imagination.

Logan’s prose is filled with vivid descriptions. One character is introduced as ‘dreadlocked, greeneyed, full of ve
Sep 08, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A mixed bag of fairytalesque short stories. But the ones I liked, I liked quite a bit. Highlights: The Rental Heart, Underskirts, The Broken West, Coin-Operated Boys, Una and Coll are not Friends, Matryoshka, The Tiger Palace. I could've lived without the other thirteen stories.
Dec 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Followers of this blog know that I am a huge fan of Kirsty Logan’s novel The Gloaming and when I am interested in an author, I try to buy everything they’ve published. Hence the reason why I’m reading The Rental Heart, which is Logan’s first short story collection.

The problem is that I had high expectations and I was disappointed.

It’s not that the stories are bad. Themes such as sexuality, notions of gender and general kookiness are present. Also these stories are tight and deliver, even the sho
Feb 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Not read a short story collestion in ages.
Really enjoyed this book.
Great stories.
Nov 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite book I've read in a long time. Logan's prose is magical, gritty, and sexy. I was enraptured from the first page.
Jun 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Torn between 3 and 4 stars with this book; it's difficult reviewing short story collections! Some were wonderful and definitely worthy of more, but others didn't do it for me. Overall some really enjoyable storytelling that included some great queer fairy tales.
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Extraordinary. Perfect for fans of The Bloody Chamber and Jen Campbell
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a lovely yet challenging collection of short stories. Each one is beautifully written and is inclusive of anyone. Would recommend!
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Strange and thrilling and queer. Not so much stories as fascinating and surprising ideas beautifully and compellingly realised. I wanted to slow down and savour it, but I couldn’t stop reading.
Sep 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If you’re someone like me who loves something to spark the imagination off then this book is perfect. This book can be quite abstract, super metaphorical and relies heavily on you, the reader having a mind that will run away with itself. They’re short stories, they can only cover so much. If I’m honest I read the book twice through in quick succession, as there was plenty that I missed the first time round, and I’ll probably read it again and discover new details, new stories within the stories. ...more
Mar 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I've had some issues with short story collections of late. They're usually a mish-mash in quality, so despite there being over a dozen, I only really enjoy one or two. But here, I kind of got sucked up into every story.

Even if I look back as an overview, rather than by stories, characters really stand out: the woman who builds a lover out of paper because her husband is away on the rigs for so long; the man who binges on words.

The Broken West is the one that still stands out after completing the
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
Kirsty Logan is probably my favourite author currently writing. She's got an unbelievable grasp of language, just GORGEOUS. Her short stories are generally short-short, but every single one is also just the right length.
Sep 26, 2015 rated it liked it
I really appreciated Kirsty Logans writing style and imaginative storytelling.
I think this is a great collection and has something for everyone. I didn't take to all the stories, but some hit my heart hard.

The Rental Heart: unexpected bi diversity, happy times. Poinent and moving look at exchanging hearts.
Underskirts: now thats how I like my smut, thank you.
The Skull of Saints: Charming and poignant.
Bibliophagy: Shakely true to life. The writing style reminds me of Ava Lavender.
Una and Col
Apr 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
I first read 'The Rental Heart' in SALT's Best British Short Stories 2011. And it would seem that I simply can't stop re-reading this gem. There's a dark and fervent beauty to Logan's collection that is almost addictive. These twisted fairy-tales are stunning and get under the skin in a way which stays with you for weeks, months..

'The Rental Heart', 'The Gracekeepers' and 'Mamma Grows a Diamond' are among many favorites from this collection.
Oct 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Favorite stories: Underskirts, The Rental Heart, The Broken West, Sleeping Beauty, Witch, The Light Eater. Author interview here. ...more
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: own
There are some stories I really liked, but for the most part I felt these to be a bit repetitive. This was just not the right collection for me at this time. I appreciate its focus on same-sex relationships, sex, and love, but I did not feel compelled by these stories, unfortunately.
Alice Lippart
This definitely has some fantastic stories, though not all of them are.
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Read May 2017
While some stories were better than others, I really liked this collection.
The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales was written by Kirsty Logan and published in 2014. This is her debut collection of short stories and all have a touch of the magical and fairytalesque. They all feature tales of longing, lust or love in its various forms.

Did I like it?:
Sadly, I wasn’t totally thrilled with this collection. Although there were still stories that I liked. I had read The Gracekeepers previously which I adore, but this didn’t live up to that. However, this short story c
Aug 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Storytelling is one of the ancient arts of humankind, fairy tales being only one form of storytelling. Most fairy tales began as oral traditions, passed down verbally from generation to generation, connecting the youngest members of a group to past generations. In Kirsty Logan's book THE RENTAL HEART AND OTHER FAIRYTALES, we are treated to an array of original stories as well as retellings of classic, well-known fairy tales. What struck me most about this collection was its depth and breadth of ...more
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Kirsty Logan is a professional daydreamer. She is the author of two novels, The Gloaming and The Gracekeepers, and two story collections, A Portable Shelter and The Rental Heart & Other Fairytales. Her fifth book, Things We Say in the Dark, will be published on Halloween 2019.

Kirsty lives in Glasgow with her wife and their rescue dog. She has tattooed toes.

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