This book is a collection of short stories based on Almond’s own childhood, mixed in with anecdotes of his own experiences. Like most of Almond’s writing, there is a very strange magic realism throughout these stories.
The stories are all based in Felling-on-Tyne, but Almond notes how he altered the setting to fit his stories. The characters are also a mix of fictional and real people.
Religion was clearly a big part of Almond’s upbringing, and he envelopes tht in his writing. However, the stories aren’t particularly religious at all. It’s more the daily routine of the young boys and how religion is incorporated into this.
I’m a big fan of short stories. This collection was really good, though they were all very similar in atmosphere/genre. Not that that’s a bad thing, necessarily, but I do like a bit of variety.
Almond’s writing is fantastic, as always. Descriptive enough, but still leaving some details to the reader’s own imagination. It was easy to just sit and read this book without needing to put it down. 3.5 stars.