A child receives the body of Saint Lucia of Syracuse for her seventh birthday. A rebelling angel rewrites the Book of Judgement to protect the woman he loves. A young woman discovers the lost manuscript of Jane Austen written on the inside of her skin. A 747 populated by a dying pantheon makes the extraordinary journey to the beginning of the universe.
Lyrical and tender, quirky and cutting, Helen Marshall’s exceptional debut collection weaves the fantastic and the horrific alongside the touchingly human in fifteen modern parables about history, memory, and cost of creating art.
"A tour de force of imagination, this remarkable debut collection uses the conventions of dark fantasy and horror as the framework for some of speculative fiction's most unusual stories." (Library Journal)
"Sometimes a book comes along that is so original, so vibrantly alive, so beautifully imagined and so much a law unto itself that the only comment or advice a reviewer can offer is to say: go read it. Hair Side, Flesh Side is one such book, and having experienced it I am left with a genuine sense of excitement, thinking about where Helen Marshall might take us next." (Strange Horizons)
"Hair Side, Flesh Side is a strong first collection of speculative fiction borne out of faded manuscripts, old libraries and the memories of the past. However, it’s how Marshall sees us reconcile these ghosts with the world of the living that give her stories the weight of immediacy. She is a talent to be discovered, and one hopes that she will continue to balance her medieval research with her prose. There are, no doubt, many more old bones to dig up." (The National Post)
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Far from enthralling
The heavy accented, baritone voice just didn't mesh well with the stories. He did a great job with female voices, but the narration parts were lacking in inflection and emotion.
Each story had a very unique and imaginative premise, but they lacked something essential I couldn't quite place my finger on. Maybe I didn't fully believe in the choices of the characters. A 7 year-old willing to feel her skin burning for an undisclosed period of time just out of love for her mother? Perhaps it would be better read than listened to.
- Claire E