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He awakens in a hospital bed to the strains of music resounding in his ears, and the discovery of an unbelievable talent. In 'The Hospital', every parent's worst nightmare whirls around the children's ward, as a young boy with an unknown malady undergoes a multitude of medical tests. Six stories to enthral, stories which will linger in the mind of the reader long after they are finished.

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Learn more about Kindle MatchBook. Kindle Cloud Reader Read instantly in your browser. Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Read reviews that mention short stories toxic love matthew mcfarland making headlines liar and other stories collection of short hospital dark ripples savant told ending six fiction twist. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. This is McFarland's second collection of short stories, and, after the first collection, I was looking forward to its release.

McFarland is a very good writer. His mastery of the language, his pacing of a story, and the wicked edge to his imagination, set him apart. In this fairly short collection there are some good stories, although nothing quite reaches the level of the very best stories in his previous collection. McFarland is at his best when he lets his evil twin take over the writing. For me, Making Headlines is the standout piece of this collection, a gruesome tale told in an almost matter-of-fact style that makes the story and its central character all the more disturbing.

Toxic Love is a well-constructed story, written in three parts from the different perspectives of the main protagonists. I thought only that the ending could have been a little stronger, giving it more impact. Here, McFarland's restrained style let's him down a little. The Liar, the title story, was very well written, but the story lacked punch. The reveal at the end, about which of the narrator's claims was true, was delivered in a beautifully understated fashion.

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The Savant and Ripples are not bad, but don't quite reach the same standard. In Ripples there were too many unexplained elements for my satisfaction. The weakest story, in my opinion, was Hospital. This seems to fall into the category of a reminiscence, rather than a story - there were several stories of this kind in the earlier collection which I similarly found less satisfying.

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I am not sure to what extent this is fiction. He never refers to himself as the father of the boy; and he never refers to the mother of the boy by name or as his wife. I found this a little odd, and it marred the story for me. Nevertheless, this is good work from a fine writer. While none of the stories quite rise to the heights of the best in the earlier collection, overall this collection is still worth four stars. One he's not sure what to do with. The penultimate story is "Ripples".

First sentence: "'Let me help,' said the old man, standing up from his seat. Running from a night she'll never forget. She gets on the first train she can, and meets the curious Stanley. Slowly she opens up, and tells him what horrors she witnessed the night before.


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The final story is "Toxic Love". First sentence: "My wife of close to twenty years is slowly poisoning me, of this I am certain. He is forbidden from cooking, and is struggling with the concept of her betrayal. All the tiny, insignificant hints he's found, have piled up into one obvious big slap on the face.

A wake-up call. He needs to know why? Who can he go to? What can he do? How did it come to this? The story then switches to his wife's POV, before ending on their teenage son's. The revelations that come with each change seem to be vying for which can be the most extreme. How well do you know the people in your life? He's very good at building tension and suspense, though sometimes tricking the reader with an unexpected plot twist or change of atmosphere.

My favourites are "Ripples" which I could see making a great thriller- if only. There are some unexplained elements, but the power of imagination fills in the gaps and makes it more sinister. Changing between the views- with their different levels of awareness- is somehow both humorous and unsettling.

The Liar and Other Stories

The characters are all very focused on the negative. A con-man, who makes charm his business, he comes across as very likeable, funny and a little insane. There's no doubt he's unstable, but that just adds to his psychotic energy, and sucks you right in. His writing style and immersive stories will have you reaching for that one too. Disclaimer: I received this book from the author. This is not a sponsored review. Nov 06, Yawatta Hosby rated it it was amazing Shelves: contemporary-fiction.

I also liked how Matthew W. McFarland managed to bring a psychological element to every story. They make you think as well as entertain you. The Liar—This suspenseful story had Paul meeting his grandfather at a bank. It was a nice twist of why he lied about his last name being Wenceslas. Hospital—Sam, who was 4, had back aches. Were the doctors on to something?

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Or just an overexaggeration? Making Headlines—This was one of my favorites. The gruesome details stayed in my mind throughout the story, sending chills down my spine. Kathy, a local celebrity, was murdered. My favorite lines: 1 I killed her because I could. Because I liked the irony of turning her life into a real life murder mystery. Hector was a construction worker; he had 2 brothers.

Who survived? Ripples—This was one of my favorites. Anne and an old man, Stanley, meet on a train. He was a retired cop who studied her body language to figure out that she had killed someone. So did he…I loved when she explained her motivation. Toxic Love—This was also one of my favorites. The husband thought his wife was poisoning him. But he continued to drink his coffee and eat his meals from her every day.

Why not fight back? Did he have a death wish? I liked the set-up—that it kinda seemed like maybe he was being paranoid. And the son—did he have his mom evil genes? Jun 07, Philip Newey rated it really liked it.

McFarland is a very good writer. His mastery of the language, his pacing of a story, and the wicked edge to his imagination, set him apart. In this fairly short collection there are some good stories, although nothing quite reaches the level of the very best stories in his previous collection. McFarland is at his best when he lets his evil twin take over the writing. For me, Making Headlines is the standout piece of this collection, a gruesome tale told in an almost matter-of-fact style that makes the story and its central character all the more disturbing.

Toxic Love is a well-constructed story, written in three parts from the different perspectives of the main protagonists. I thought only that the ending could have been a little stronger, giving it more impact. The Liar, the title story, was very well written, but the story lacked punch. Even assuming that the folktale may have been known prior to the published work, I took some liberties by having the work be known well enough that Wei-wei has a copy of the story by A.

Whether or not this actually happened in the Tang Dynasty is not something I bother myself with too often. I have said before that my Tang Dynasty is a romantic version of the Tang Dynasty. What is historically known is that princesses commanded armies , female politicians reached the highest level of government , and women played polo alongside men. Female scholarship: I always found it interesting that books on proper conduct for women were written by female scholars, not by men. All five so impressed the Emperor with their knowledge that he recognized them as scholars, inviting them to literary events and giving them official administrative posts.

Wei-wei was inspired by these women who were able to achieve respect through scholarship. Shu Aug 02,