A good collection of short stories. I particularly enjoyed 'Singing the menu' and 'Cold comfort for change'. I thought the way the stories were told was smooth and quite soothing. In many ways I felt as though I was being moved through the book in a dream-like state, caught up in the thoughts of the narrator. I have to admit that I'm not too clever when it comes to extracting the meaning from stories...I'm a bit moe f a popular fiction kind of girl, but I did really enjoy reading these. On occasions I wasn't completely sure about the repetition that features in some of the stories - on the one hand I felt it gave the stories rhythm but then I wasn't always sure about why that image or thought was being repeated. 'A girl from Someone Else's past', was a little too elusive for me, but I think these stories are more like song tracks - you need to listen a few times and get to know them before you can properly understand them.
Cold Comfort for Change is a collection of six short stories, written over a period of ten years, thrown together as an experiment by its author, Daphne Kapsali and in its culmination we find a beautiful exploration of familiar emotions and beliefs. It is rare to see such familiar issues of love, faith and loneliness described and placed in such ordinary places, familiar to any who have seen the inside of a McDonalds. What makes this book so interesting lies in the raw emotions it conveys so simply and in such minimalistic ways. The idea of lost love for instance in the short story
I really enjoyed reading these short stories which have a really natural style, giving me the impression of a snap-shot into someone
There is a comforting familiarity about the situations and settings in Kapsali
I think I enjoyed 'Cold Comfort for Change'. I was interested to read Kapsali's collection, purely for the writing style than subject matter. They are not short stories rather than poems, as the tone is often quite lyrical. It seemed to touch upon the small, unnoticed matters in life that often pass us by, the ones that we cannot understand through words. Indeed, Kapsali doesn't quite manage it. Through trying to narrate the unnarratable, all that is left is a series of threadbare repetitions and cliches. While I was interested to read the stories, in particular 'The Bride of Buddha', they all seemed a little outmoded and pretentious and I was left feeling a patronised, in the way I might feel when reading a children's book. I'm afraid I'm not partial to repetition: there are so many words in the English language ready to use rather than reverting back to the same worn out phrases. Trying to capture life in words is ambitious, which is some 'cold comfort', I guess.
Reminds me of Gates of Eden by Ethan Coen, in that he writes these beautifully descriptive snap shots of people, but the stories ultimately go nowhere. However, Daphne's stories do go somewhere, only they didn't take me along for the journey. I like her style though - it's loose and fast and immediate. Hope she writes something longer in the future because this collection felt a bit like flash fiction.
Wow, these were really really great... I loved Kapsali's language and how easily I felt like I was pulled into the skin of another person...reading this collection was like dipping in and out of a pool of memories, experiences and interactions... I think my favorite stories were 'In Paris' and 'Centre of the World', though I also really enjoyed 'Bride of Buddha'... I also wished 'A Girl from Someone Else's Past' could have been longer - there was just something about the nature of the relationship between Joanne and the narrator that I would have loved to have seen expanded more fully... Great collection!