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On the Edges of Vision

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  104 ratings  ·  18 reviews
***Winner of the Saltire First Book of the Year 2015***

In On the Edges of Vision, unease sounds itself in the language of legend. Images call on memory, on the monstrous self. Throughout Helen McClory’s daring debut collection, the skin prickles against sweeps of light or darkness, the fantastic or the frightful; deep water, dark woods, or scattered flesh in desert sand. W
Paperback, 169 pages
Published August 2015 by Queens Ferry Press (first published June 4th 2015)
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3.79  · 
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 ·  104 ratings  ·  18 reviews

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Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Helen McClory is a star. I’ve never read anything quite like this, and as much as this at different times reminded me of many writers - Joy Williams, Angela Carter, George Saunders, Donald Barthelme, Lydia Davis - McClory has a unique voice. Expect great things and surely more prizes.
Jan 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In ON THE EDGES OF VISION, Helen McClory masterfully explores the slow-burning terror that exists in the space between the darkness and the light. This author's brilliance lies in her patience and empathy, her sure knowledge of the monsters we all fear, and, most disturbing of all, the monsters that live within us. A stunning collection. Highly recommended.
Oct 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
The problem, if there is one, with On the Edges of Vision is the one recommendation I had heard before reading it. That was that for all it's wildness and wonderfulness, it's ultimately indescribable. Now that I've finished, I'm finding it difficult to put it into words adequately, which is rather useless for a review, isn't it?

But I'll try...

The one thing I have always said about writing is that if it makes you feel something, good or bad, it's doing something right. I've travelled about every
Jan 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Favorite stories: Pretty Dead Girl Takes a Break, Pecan Pie, and A Short History of Creation. Author interview forthcoming in The Female Gaze.
Jan 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Originally reviewed for monkeybicycle:

A debut collection that lingers in the curves of your eyes and during the double-blink gazes of late night shadows, Helen McClory has wound tight, unexpected stories in On the Edges of Vision. With forty flash fiction stories taking up a slim amount of pulp, a reader would be tempted to finish at break speed, congratulating themselves on a job well done, but it would be a disservice not to slowly read the prose. McClory has polished each sentence and selecte
Tiffany Anne
Oct 21, 2016 rated it it was ok
This started off so well. I was enjoying every story. And then I hit the halfway mark & I hated almost every story after.
Apr 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: short-stories
2.5 stars.

I liked the format of this collection - a mix of general short stories, interspersed with genuine flash fiction which was something I hadn't read before and really enjoyed the experience of. If a short story can knock me out in a single page, then that will wow me.

Sadly I didn't really warm to this collection. Although I enjoyed the more supernatural element to some of the stories, and I felt that some of them had some very clever ideas and were fresh and interesting, I found the maj
Ali George
Feb 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a lovely collection of stories which juxtaposes the weird and wonderful with the ordinary. Stand out stories for me were probably Pecan Pie and A Short History of Creation. I also liked Unspoken a lot, although I almost wish it wasn't a flash fiction story because I'd like to find out more about the characters introduced there! Helen McClory has a unique and wonderful writing voice, and I'm interested to see what she does next. In the meantime, if you're looking for literary short storie ...more
Ignacio Peña
Apr 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
A very thoughtful and surreal collection of stories that blurs the line of what makes something a monster and what makes it human. So very often it is absolutely stunning (Material, A Common Enough Thing, Pecan Pie), and only occasionally stumbles when it veers toward the very abstract. When the stories focus on the very small, on the very quiet, the book illuminates brilliantly.
Jul 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
tbh, short story collections are not the easiest thing for me to get into. it feels too in-between in terms of time and i have trouble investing. however, on the edges of vision hits a sweet spot between short story and flash fiction that never asks too much or too little of you and often feels like reading someone's aha! moment. in the vein of kelly link's magic for beginners, but more accessible imho, i found on the edges a great way to get my own brain firing, like taking my daily dose of cre ...more
Feb 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Short story collections aren't usually my thing, but I really enjoyed On the Edges of Vision. I've read it over the course of several months, going through a few stories each time I picked the book up. It's wonderfully unsettling throughout, with each short piece offering fully formed characters and tales despite their lengths.
Stuart Bathgate
Mar 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
By turns enchanting, scary, unsettling and curiously comic, this collection of (very) short stories won the Saltire First Book award. The length and variety of the pieces make it really easy to dip into, and often you're hooked from the first sentence or by the title.

The one frustration is that sometimes really good ideas are no sooner introduced than the story is over. They cry out for longer treatment, which is perhaps why McClory has also written a novel and is working on another - as well a
Apr 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Flash fiction is difficult. Too often they feel unfinished, like fragments of a longer piece that's the real work. But McClory works magic with limited space and words. Each piece feels complete and real, whole worlds in small space of flash. And better, they're often the magical, strange, monstrous, and sometimes just weird worlds of women and girls.
Laura Anderson
Nov 11, 2016 added it
Shelves: 2016
Some beautiful stories in here
More like 3.5. The writing was absolutely stunning, but I would have preferred a clearer narrative in some of the stories - just personal preference.
Francisco Rapalo
Mar 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Fascinating, brillant, dark, twisted. I LOVE IT. A must-read. Helen McClory is the next big thing. My favorite story: Ipseity.
Michelle Ross
Aug 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic collection of flash fiction and shorter fiction filled with monsters, magic, dark humor, and beautiful, beautiful writing!
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Helen McClory lives in Edinburgh and grew up between there and the isle of Skye. Her first collection, On the Edges of Vision, was published by Queen's Ferry Press in August 2015 and won the Saltire First Book of the Year 2015. Her second collection, Mayhem & Death, was written for the lonely and published in March 2018.

There is a moor and a cold sea in her heart.
“A car sweeps down the street. Light gleams on the plate and on the surface of the coffee and in the devil's soft eyes. Bernina thinks, whatever he'll do next, she won't ever tell. Some things you got to keep for yourself.” 0 likes
“He let distraction fondle the keys, asking himself: what's the difference between a super-villain and a monster? Well, some choice in the matter.” 0 likes
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