Gesti indelebili by A.L. Kennedy

frankieisreading's review against another edition

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emotional lighthearted reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


natbmuser's review against another edition

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dark emotional reflective tense medium-paced


"The best love is a little like light. It is unremitting, cannot fail to find you, to take the shortest, surest way, as if that were marked out as part of your nature, the line where you and love are made to meet. It is your law, the physics of your life. It will move from somewhere to nowhere and back again and it will make you lost. It is beautiful and terrible and blinding and you will never understand the trick of it."
Kennedy's love/terror comes from unrelenting sunlight. These are love stories, stories about people being thrown out of their own lives by coincidence or fate. And yet, the line mentioned in the previous quote is most often a fence, and the two creatures on either side pace frantically, not knowing how to cross. 
Kennedy's characters are completely arrested by their desires, but that doesn't mean they're able to fulfill them. These stories are thrilling. My only gripe is that sometimes the characters are so violently upended in their emotions that it's difficult to get a sense of place. Where they are in their own lives, their relationships, their worries, their actual location, etc. But no matter. After reading each chapter I had to close the book and bask. 

gengelcox's review against another edition

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I picked this up on the recommendation of a travel guide book, as an example of good writing by a Scottish author. The writing is very good, but the Scottish nature of these stories is near to non-existent. What connects these stories together is their theme of adultery, a theme that is fairly common to mainstream literature these days (I've an aunt-in-law who used to complain that it was a criteria for Oprah's Book Club), but one that I had heretofore avoided in my own reading diet. Unfortunately, the saliciousness of these short stories was fairly mild, and while I found Kennedy's writing quite admirably, at the end of each story I found myself saying, "So what," a common complaint I have with modern short stories, which tend to be heavy in style and character and light in plot or substance. I did end up reading every story, so that's something of a recommendation, in the sense that if plot isn't necessary for you, you might find this book quite worthwhile.