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Not What You Thought? and other surprises

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  18 ratings  ·  16 reviews
A varied collection of flash fiction and short stories, mostly funny, some sad, and others more dramatic and poignant.

From the humour of several twist in the tale type stories to those of the harsh realities of the world we live in, a collection to both entertain and keep the reader guessing. Among such stories: a drastic way of dealing with those annoying cold callers th
Kindle Edition
Published March 30th 2015 by Troubador (first published March 28th 2015)
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Max Power
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a lovely book of short stories and flash fiction by Paul Ruddock with a few guest writers thrown in for good measure. It is a thoroughly enjoyable collection of stories, plenty of variety and entertaining throughout. The style for me was somewhat old-fashioned which I like and indeed there is also a great sense of the writer's origin, in that the stories were for me reminiscent of an older generation of classic British writers, again- a good thing. I read this book over a couple of days ...more
Dean C. Moore
Jul 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
For lovers of short stories this collection represents quite the feast. Because it brings together tales from a great many genres, the ideal reader will be one who reads across any and all genres, or darn close. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a discerning palate in other respects. Because the overall quality of the writing is the real unifier. Not every short hit home with me, but the weakest ones registered as a solid three stars, the majority were a solid four stars, while the strongest ...more
Angela Lockwood
May 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
I love short stories, there is nothing better than to have a good short to entertain you during a commute or lunch break. No need to remember what was going on, or missing your stop as you were just so engrossed in a thriller. This book certainly entertained me. I can see mister Ruddock took great glee in what is an inspiration to many writers; fictionally murder the people that have gotten on your bad side. There are some excellent contributions from the five guest writers and the overall stand ...more
Diana Febry
Apr 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
A very enjoyable collection of short stories.
As the title of the book suggests, most of the stories are cleverly written to raise assumptions in the reader's mind, only to discover in the final twist those assumptions to be completely wrong. They did remind me of a schooldays mantra, 'to assume makes an ass out of you and me.' This technique gave a traditional solid feel to the stories and I felt the author had 'studied' quite closely the art of writing short stories.
Typically some stories appea
Felipe Lerma
Apr 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Paul Ruddock has fashioned a collection of his short stories, along with a few samples from other writers, and given us a glimpse of a writer ready to go a little further with both story and character. I look forward to a novella or longer in the future from Mr Ruddock.

Highly recommended if the need is for quick easy reads with quirky surprise endings. Many left a smile on my face. And a few gave me pause to mourn the loss of quality in so many people's lives.

The guest authors supplied solid sho
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was delighted with this collection of short stories. Mr. Ruddock is a master short story writer – making the characters and action come to life in few words. That’s very difficult to do and not everyone does it well. But, this author does. His scenes are rich and vivid and his work is full of twists you don’t see coming. He has a great sense of humor and I’ve laughed out loud many times while reading. He has a way with horror and humor, often combining the two for very enjoyable reads. The gue ...more
Andrew Updegrove
Apr 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Once upon a time – and a very long time it was – the short story was a well-respected form of literary fiction as well as an essential thread in the warp and woof of everyday life. Whether we’re speaking of one of Aesop’s moral lessons or an offering from one of the many modern day exemplars of the form, ranging from F. Scott Fitzgerald to Isaac Bashevis Singer, there has always been a wide appreciation for a good, entertaining, short read. Until, for some reason, they wasn’t.

Almost overnight, t
Graeme Cumming
As someone who has followed Paul Ruddock’s blog for some time now, I was delighted to see that he had published some of the stories he’d written there in this collection. Having sampled his work, I knew it was likely to be an eclectic range and that certainly proved to be the case. The inclusion of work by other authors only added to the range and it was good to be introduced to them.

The stories themselves lived up to the promise in the title and my own expectations. Whether it’s Paul’s sense of
Eric Lahti
Jun 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not What You Thought is a collection of stories ranging from flash fiction levels up to more traditional short story levels all tied together in a neat package themed around leading you down one path before revealing you were actually going down a completely different path all along.
And it's absolutely fun. Every last page. Every little forgotten alleyway of the mind it takes you down, every dusty path into every run-down shop in your head that turns into a Super Wal-Mart when you least expect i
Penny Luker
Apr 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is worth buying because it is raising money for the Forget-Me-Not charity, which helps homeless ex-soldiers. It’s also worth buying as it’s very good value for money with thirty four stories. Some of the stories are short or even flash fiction but all are expertly crafted.
As well as Paul Ruddock’s excellent work there are contributions from five other writers: John M.W.Smith, Tom Benson, Matthew Williams, Lesley Hayes and Peter Nena. This adds a variety of style.
One of my favourite st
Rhoda D'Ettore
Apr 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is the first work by P. A. Ruddock I have read. It's a great collection of short stories, some only a couple pages. I was so pleasantly surprised that before I finished the first story, I was already posting on Facebook about how a scene made me laugh out loud. There are several guest authors, but all were of the same outstanding quality as Mr. Ruddock. Each story has a twist, and as I said, a few had me seriously laughing. I read this in one sitting because I refused to put it down. I'm so ...more
Tom Benson
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A short story anthology should be entertaining for more reasons than simply having a variety of stories. Here, we have an author who has with a few guest authors produced a superb and varied collection of over thirty tales.
‘Not What You Thought’ is an apt title because as Paul Ruddock proves on more than one occasion he’d be a contender for ‘garden path guide’—he leads his reader down the garden path … and then hits with a twist. There are writers who fail to meet this challenge, but here we hav
Chris-Jean Clarke
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Highly Recommended!

'Not What You Thought? and Other Surprises ...' is a fine compilation of Flash Fiction (stories one thousand words, or less, which have a twist/sting in the tail) & short, short stories by PA Ruddock et al.

I thoroughly enjoyed the mix of emotions PA Ruddock & his guest authors were able to stir. I was never left shocked or sad for too long as the next story would have me laughing aloud. My favourite stories were: 'Behind The Sofa', 'Call of Duty', 'Sperm Bank Donor', 'First I
May 18, 2021 rated it liked it
Well not often does the title of the book come true. “Not what you thought” really wasn’t what I thought it was going to be.
An anthology of short stories some great others not as good. On the whole I’ve enjoyed this book and it’s passed a couple of hours and kept me entertained.
Some of the stories the twist is an obvious 1 but some are surprising.
Stephen Carter
Aug 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
A Good Helping of Story Twists

Note that proceeds from the sale of this diverse collection of short stories, ‘Not What You Thought’, support a charity for homeless ex-servicemen. The stories here all have a 'not-what-you-thought' twist ending. Most genres are represented – SF, war, romance, horror, adventure, spiritual, magic realism, and more.

In my experience what often makes short stories compelling is they are analogous to the precise, contained, Act 1 ‘Inciting Incident’ scene in a novel. Th
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