My next Book Club book, ‘Orchid Fever’ by Eric Hansen has gone missing. I bought it about three weeks ago and put it somewhere safe. Now it has disappeared from my apartment. There are no more copies available in Bangkok and anyway I’ve already bought it once. I am feeling stupid.
One book I read recently that I wasn’t careless enough to lose was Nik Perring’s volume of short stories, ‘Not So Perfect’ although let me tell you they are; they are absolutely perfect.
I don’t read many short stories and I’ve only written one and it was, frankly, stinky. But I’m going to have to reconsider things because these stories were exquisite: funny, painful and quirky. Such short stories as these are known as flash fiction and of course they look effortless. I know they’re not.
The title “Not So Perfect’ is a line from one of the stories and refers to lives of the characters that people the whole collection. After reading it twice I’m finding it jolly difficult to believe that Nic Perring isn’t a sixty eight year old woman, a fifteen year old girl or a twelve year old boy because he writes with such tenderness from all those perspectives. Bereavements, misunderstandings, loneliness and being different, those human conditions are all here and yet somehow he makes us look twice. He makes them feel unique.
My favourite stories are ‘My Heart’s in a Box’ and ‘The Angel in The Car Park.’
Sadly, 'Not So Perfect' is not available in Bangkok.