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Show Them a Good Time

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  266 ratings  ·  53 reviews
A blisteringly original and wickedly funny collection of stories about the strange worlds that women inhabit and the parts that they must play.

A sense of otherworldly menace is at work in the fiction of Nicole Flattery, but the threats are all too familiar. Show Them a Good Time tells the stories of women slotted away into restrictive roles: the celebrity's girlfriend, the
Published March 2019 by Bloomsbury (first published February 28th 2019)
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Average rating 3.70  · 
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Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
A book of eight short stories that are dark and quirky and while I struggled to connect with any of them them or understand them, they were easy reading and while not my cup of tea (my tea is strong, no milk , no sugar) I am sure others( more adventours coffee drinkers) will find the dark, eccentric humour smart and entertaining.

Eight bizarre stories about Women, dating, relationships and modern life that for me were farcical and weird and yet I kept reading and finished the book which I think
Emily B
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a review copy of this book. I loved the look of the cover and the description.

I really liked the authors writing style, which was bold, contemporary and unique. This and the overall quirkiness of the stories made it enjoyable to read.

The stories were definitely wacky and at times I don’t think I completely understood them. I felt a lot was unsaid. However despite this I found that I was still captivated by each story and the beauty of the writing
Peter Boyle
Mar 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories, irish
Hmmm. I am feeling quite torn on Show Them A Good Time. I disliked the first story so much that I almost gave up on the whole thing. But I'm glad I gave it a second go - there are moments of genius here and I began to see why the book has been so hyped.

I suppose the theme of this collection is the plight of the modern woman - dating, relationships and gender roles are all explored in a sharp, sardonic manner. Some of the stories take a turn for the surreal, and I notice that these are ones I
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Repetitive, weird and due to a distinct lack of humour, reading this bundle of short stories felt more like work, than being shown a good time.
The term that comes to mind for me when reflecting on Show Them a Good Time is lukewarm. But that is really too mild, because often the stories seriously annoyed me or just felt unbalanced and not well thought out.
The eight stories in this book all relate to modern Irish women struggling in life.
All the main characters seem to live in a distinctly
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my most anticipated releases of 2019 and the sampler more than whets my appetite for the full publication. Like most others, I often find anthologies featuring a multitude of short stories difficult to review because, naturally, you tend to appreciate some more than others. It's sort of the reading version of Russian roulette, but the big difference here is that each story is written by the same author, and this certainly helps in making the two stories I read coherent and ...more
☽ TheBibliotheque
“There were things happening out there in the world - history, events. But history was not happening in my town, not to me. I was just standing outside bars, without my coat, shoes and underwear wondering where exactly they were because - sadly - I was not wearing them. My thoughts had reached a manic, fever pitch.”

Show them a Good Time is a collection of short stories that presents an exploration of modern society. I only left one unread - as the title scared me away a little bit - but all the
Abbie | ab_reads
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

Huge thanks to @bloomsburypublishing for sending me a copy of this to read and review - I BLOODY LOVED IT.
Do you like short stories that go to some dark places and are brimming with unease (not the supernatural kind) and strangeness? Do you enjoy stories of women refusing to stay in the roles assigned to them by society? If so, then you need to keep your eye out for Show Them a Good Time, out in March!
As I mentioned before, I got strong Sally Rooney and Ottessa Moshfegh vibes, so it
Nov 30, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I don't think I've ever been this confused by a short story collection. Usually I love reading this genre, but there was not one story that resonated with me. The writing was bizarre, clunky, and pretentious. I felt like the structure, characters, and tone of this book were trying too hard to be cool, hip, and clever. The emotion was lacking. Almost every character felt stiff and creepy. I wish I could think of something positive to say, but unfortunately I can't think of one story that made an ...more
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
I was given the opportunity to read two of the short stories in this collection and, on the strength of these, am keen to lay my hands on the full set. They are disconcerting, slightly off-centre versions of reality. Multi-dimensional characters and dialogue were their major strengths for me.

‘Not the End Yet’ appears at first to be set in the world as we know it but, as the action progresses, we realise it’s not quite. A young woman goes on a series of dates, always to the same restaurant and
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Show Them a Good Time was one of my most anticipated books of 2019, and after nabbing a sample that blew me away I was eager to read the full spectrum of stories; Ms Flattery certainly didn't disappoint, in that respect, as it turned out to exceed my expectations. I usually read a few anthologies, but this is a selection of short stories with one significant difference: they are all written by the same writer. These are most appropriately described as beautifully written, original and quite ...more
Catherine (literaryprints)
A short story collection reminiscent of Her Body and Other Parties - just as feminist, though in a rather different way. Whereas there was an underlying love for women's bodies - a certain tenderness even when Machado's stories depicted the stories of violence laced with magical realism - Flattery tries for a more cut and dry approach.

These are stories of women you don't hear much about - women that, even as a professed feminist, one may harbor conflicting feelings about; call girls, a famous
Jaclyn Crupi
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
I really disliked many stories in this collection (the title story most of all). I even feel generous calling it a collection. But there were three wonderful stories and I wish I had read them in the literary journals where I’m sure they were originally published rather than this ill-conceived book.
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another wunderkind from Ireland after Sally Rooney, Anna Burns and others. Nicole Flattery has had much flattery (as it were) about this book, snapped up by publishers along with a forthcoming novel, all looking for the next big thing. Short stories are also very much in vogue, supposedly being the harder write than a novel because so much has to be crammed in quickly- and the stories have to be quick to impress. The downside is a sort of deliberate post modern retrained and artfully deployed ...more
David Harris
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm grateful to the publisher for providing me a sampler from this book via NetGalley.

The sampler I read contained two stories, "Not the End Yet" and "Track" so I'm essentially reviewing those stories.

In both these stories, Flattery combines a sense of reality, of literalness with a feeling that the fantastical may be about to come round the corner. Her protagonists reflect this, seemingly ordinary at first but revealing depths as the stories develop a dialogue with something else (the
Evan Mac
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Bloomsbury Publishing for sending me an ARC of Nicole Flattery's Show Them a Good Time!

Nicole Flattery's Show Them a Good Time is both lithe--quick, cerebral--and trudging--every story delves into some woman's unwellness, and Flattery is not afraid to prod and punish her characters. This collection of short stories belongs on a shelf next to Miranda July and perhaps Ottessa Moshfegh, authors who write taught, mocking/empathetic (mock-atheric) stories.
Flattery's writing is always
Mary Lou
Jul 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: irish
It’s especially difficult to read and comment on a collection of short stories when you read at any sort of rate. It feel’s almost like you should be reviewing eight books- the number in this set. But while they are all different, they have a common theme of the struggle to establish identity in the world.
The feel and the atmosphere of this writing remains rather than the content. It’s bizarre, funny, clever, dark and well-written. But most of all it is very brave indeed. I liked when the main
Kelsey (Kelseylovesbooks)
DNF at 50%. Really tried with this book, and it is just not for me. The short stories feel as though they are trying to be profound, when in actuality they are just confusing and poorly constructed. I received an arc of this book in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley and the publisher.
These short stories offer a fresh and brilliantly off-kilter sensibility, coupled with new—yet timeless—observations that will make you sigh in sympathy, shake your head in affinity + slap your own thigh + someone else’s at its Beckettian-cum-MirandaJulyian humour. ('Track' and the title story are standouts/knockouts.)
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Finished: 16.08.2019
Genre: short stories
Rating: B+
#TBR list 2019
One of Ireland's rising stars....Nicole Flattery

My Thoughts
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Strikingly original talent. Unsettling, strange stories, without neat resolutions. The unusual perceptions and behaviours create a general sense of detachment and dislocation in the world.
Olivia Loving
Nov 24, 2019 rated it liked it
She's a good writer, but this is really not my style, which surprises me since I was so looking forward to it/she's connected to Sally Rooney via their agent and in other ways/etc. I liked best the two stories I'd read online prior to receiving the book -- "Parrot" and "Track."
Kathy Stevens
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Consistently good/excellent writing. I did feel my mind wandering more than once. Title story was interesting to start, but I felt it went on too long. Gave up on Abortion, a Love Story, only pages from the end.
The collection had a kind of music to it that made it stand apart from other, recent debut collections, and I found it inspiring to dip in and out of, for the quality of the prose rather than the stories as a whole.
Ate her up - weird stories that sometimes I’m not sure what’s going on but it both doesn’t annoy me and I’m so here for it - it feels very intentional - funny, new, irreverent - I couldn’t put it down - my favs being Parrot and Not the end yet - all the stories gave me an overwhelming feeling of sadness, loneliness and despair but in an interesting way.
Ross Jeffery
Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
There are times, when reading a short story collection, that my interest dips. I’m half-way through, around four stories in, and only the opener has really hit the high mark that was promised. It becomes a task then, the finish the rest. Show Them A Good Time by Nicole Flattery is enthralling from start to finish – no dip, no task, no thought that perhaps the collection has been fleshed out with lesser pieces, the bookends the best part. In fact, by the time I reached ‘Sweet Talk’, number five ...more
Oct 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs, reviewed-books
Thank you to NetGalley and Bloomsbury USA for the digital ARC! My opinions are all my own.
"Show Them A Good Time" is the short story collection from Irish writer Nicole Flattery. This collection is focused around a series of different women, varying in different ages, pasts, and lifestyles, who are stuck in restrictive roles. The not-famous girlfriend of a famous comedian, to a college professor's student, to a fourteen-year-old girl, these women are put in several different kinds of stories
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
These stories are bizarre.
They made me laugh. At some points. Feel utterly bewildered at others. A lot of them really didn't make sense but I still enjoyed them. Extremely strange, but entertaining and unique. Would recommend.

Show them a good time- There's a petrol station. It's not real. A prostitute has moved back to work there for some reason or another. There's mints and a plant.

Sweet talk- Teen girl, Australian man, Midlands murders, flies

Hump- a woman who has lost her father thinks she
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Hard to connect to, but then that’s sort of the point isn’t it?

Show Them A Good Time is about women in Ireland (mostly from small towns) experiencing alienation. The stories become more surreal but the writing stays dead pan.

After living in the city, a young woman comes back to her nothing-town and works in a garage that isn’t really a garage; a teenager crushes on the workman her father hires while women are murdered in the Midlands; a woman deals with her father’s death; two students try to
May 27, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The Stinging Fly Press hasn't published a worthwhile new book in years--Young Skins by Colin Barrett, first published some five years ago, was the last work of substantial literary merit to come from them. They have since had mediocre offerings, and they 'jumped the shark' with Claire-Louise Bennett's Pond. Flattery's work here is just another the nail in the coffin. This collection is an example of writing that flirts with the absurd in a shallow attempt to be edgy, interesting, and noticed, ...more
Nov 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
3.5 stars. These sardonic and borderline-bizarre short stories generally focus on modern women and their experiences with dating, friendships, and work-- particularly with a cynical outlook on the mundane motions they've found themselves caught in, and a slow-burning yearning to break loose. The longest story (and one of the most peculiar) titled "Abortion, A Love Story" tells the tales of two misfit women in college; they drown out the noise of the world with cotton wool, and find solace in ...more
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don’t know what it is exactly, about these stories, but I’ll try to describe it: Nicole Flattery inserts her characters into worlds that are just a little bit off. Or her worlds are inhabited by characters that are just a little bit off. Or perhaps her characters and the worlds they inhabit are all perfectly mundane, and she is able to manipulate words like a sorcerer. She wields ambiguity like a razor. (which sounds like something that shouldn’t be allowed.) She deftly punches delight out of ...more
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