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Donkey Boy and Other Stories

4.62  ·  Rating details ·  13 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Shot through with flashes of humour the stories here will entertain, amuse, and make you think. Mary Smith’s debut collection of short stories is a real treat, introducing the reader to a diverse range of characters in a wide range of locations. A donkey boy in Pakistan dreams of buying luxuries for his mother; a mouth artist in rural Scotland longs to leave the circus; a ...more
Kindle Edition, 73 pages
Published September 21st 2017 by King Street Press
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Average rating 4.62  · 
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 ·  13 ratings  ·  9 reviews


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Sally Cronin
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is not a long read, but you should never judge a book by the number of pages, but in the quality of the writing. Each story is beautifully crafted and leaves the reader with questions. Not about the outcome of the story, but about how we might have behaved under similar circumstances. In the title story we meet a small boy who has to work for his father rather than go to school. His resentment is natural in a child, as his reasoning over a moral dilemma that becomes even more complicated th ...more
Judith Barrow
Jan 08, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a fascinating collection of short stories, set in various places with a wealth of diverse characters, all wonderfully rounded. The author has a talent for setting the scene and giving a sense of place with few well-chosen words.

 I read each of these unusual stories slowly, taking in the way each situation unfolded, savouring the reactions of the characters to each problem they faced, enjoying the touches of humour, poignancy, empathising with the great sadness in some of the
...more
Robbie Cheadle
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Mary Smith’s collection of short stories are a real treat. Each story deals with a complex set of circumstances that invoke a strong emotional reaction from the main character. Each character is well depicted and their reactions to the situations in which they find themselves provide a lot of food for thought for the reader. I found myself dwelling on each story and reflecting on how I thought I would react in a similar situation.

My three favourite stories in this collection are as f
...more
Piper Templeton
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Donkey Boy & Other Stories by Mary Smith offers intimate portraits of complex but relatable characters. The stories deal with poverty, abuse, and the darker side of human nature. In the title story, a young Pakistani boy must forego education to work for his harsh father. When a tourist gives him a wildly generous tip, he is conflicted about what to do with the money. This is one of the elements I liked so much about the book: A seemingly simple conflict (like what to do with a generous tip ...more
Terry Tyler
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
How I discovered this book: It was submitted to Rosie Amber's Review Team, of which I am a member. Two years ago I read No More Mulberries by this author, which I liked a lot.

This is an interesting and diverse collection of stories, set in several locations, from Scotland to Pakistan, where the author lived for a while. Some of them were written as monologues, which have been performed.

I liked those set in Pakistan best, my very favourite being Accidents Happen, about a g
...more
April Wood
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
Donkey Boy and Other Stories by Author Mary Smith is a slice-of-life short fiction anthology focusing on a colorful cast of characters from the Middle East and the United Kingdom, as they go about their daily lives, making observations, and just being themselves. The emphasis of Donkey Boy and Other Short Stories is on the moment, told in first person perspective in present tense. I really enjoyed this method of storytelling.

“Drama can be made from everyday life experience.”
...more
Elizabeth Lloyd
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Donkey Boy and other stories is a pot-pourri of tales that could accompany you on a journey to pick up and read in instalments, or you might find, like me, that you end up reading one story after another, late into the night.
Each tale introduces a character, either from home or abroad, with whom the reader can empathise. Their concerns may be amusing or distressing but they all concern human nature, good and bad.

I was particularly taken by two stories which have been performed;
...more
D.G. Kaye
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Smith brings us some short stories set in various parts of the world. In this book of tales such as Donkey Boy and other stories, they all offer some thought provoking dilemmas and situations where the characters find themselves questioning others and themselves.

In Donkey Boy, a young Pakistani boy is denied education in order to help out with the family chores. When he receives a generous tip from tourists one day, he finds an unfamiliar dilemma with having extra money in his pocket
...more
Janet Gogerty
Jan 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I always like to have a new collection of short stories on my Kindle ready to dip into and Mary Smith has given us a delightfully eclectic selection. But they all draw us into other people's lives and challenge our perceptions of other people. There is humour and tragedy; there are surprises and shocks. Some are very short, some longer, but the author's skill comes in portraying whole lives in a few pages.
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