Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Dirty Old Town by Nigel Bird

As many of you already know I'm a lover of short story collections.  Honestly, I could read them 'til the cows come home. And since there be no cows in my neighborhood that could be a really, really long time!  (Ha! I only added that sentence so I could show off my favorite moo moo photo.)

I came across a collection of short stories floating across twitter, and before you even ask... Yes, I bought it for my Kindle.  Shortly thereafter I received an email from the author asking if I'd be kind enough to review his short story collection, Dirty Old Town

Dirty Old Town is a collection of nine short stories written by Nigel Bird.  If the name sounds familiar it's because Nigel recently had me as a guest on his blog, Sea Minor.  The collection that he's put together is pure entertainment from the very first sentence in the opening story to the last line that ends the collection.  It's brilliant, really.  Here's my little take on a few of the stories I found in the collection.

DRINKING WINE (Spo-dee-oh-dee): This is a great little story about a house wife that likes to listen to the old record albums that used to belong to her father.  Not only did this story bring back memories of my babysitting days, it reminded me of the days I would spend singing Linda Ronstadt's Blue Bayou on my very first record player.  I played that song so much that I had to stack pennies on the needle to keep the record from skipping.  "I'm going back some day..."

TAKING A LINE FOR A WALK:  A very sad tale about a school janitor that's growing old and who's about to be sent away on early retirement.  Basically, he's paying attention in class one day while he's cleaning up a mess and decides to put the lesson to good use.

DIRTY OLD TOWN:  This is a dark and twisted little story about what happens to dope dealers when the dope they're selling takes the life of the best gymnast on a gymnastics team trying to head to the Britain Olympics... There are some really, really great one-liners in this story. 

MERRY CHRISTMAS (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight): The most laugh-out-loud story in the collection... It's a tale of a father and son breaking into a home on Christmas Eve.  Funny, in that the little boy promises his mother an item that his father can't afford and the father sends him down a chimney in search of said item AFTER he tells the boy that Santa isn't real!  What?  Hold up... what do you mean Santa isn't real?  This is my favorite story in the collection. I love, loved, loved the ending and I love that little boy!

Ha! Santa isn't real...  WHATEVER!

You'll also find Sea Minor, Sisterhood, One Hundred and Ten Percent, Three Little Birds and Silver Street.  Just like the author, all the stories are unique and original, and all are worthy of being read many times over.  Nigel Bird will be stopping by the blog tomorrow to give us a little lesson on Punch Lines.  It's a must read guest post that I know you'll enjoy. Until then...

Dirty Old Town by Nigel Bird is available on the Kindle, Nook and is also available on Smashwords for the great price of $0.99! 

Nigel Bird is about to serve up a 9 course meal.  As an appetiser, there’s a morsel (‘Sebille’) at Flashquake.  The Starter, ‘No Pain No Gain’ will be in Crime Factory.  There’s something fishy in the form of a surprise.  A visit to France for mains at Voluted Tales.  If you’ve room, it’ll be time for Best Of British Crime Stories. For dessert, Pulp Ink, served up jointly with Chris Rhatigan and / or Blackbird Pie at Grimm Tales.  Digestif is a novel that has all the ingredients and requires a bit more time in the oven.

And cheese.

You can read more about Nigel HERE!


gbeck said...

All of the stories sound great. I have got to get me a Nook or a Kindle--I'm leaning towards the Nook but just haven't decided for sure. Then I can start buying all of these fun books and stories. As always, thanks for keeping us informed of new fun reads.

nigel p bird said...

that's such a lovely review. many thanks. i'm pleased about your choice as favourite as i really enjoyed writing it as a fun exercise.
i, too, had a record needle that required pennies on the top to stop it from jumping; if i hadn't written Drinking WIne, I might feel a stroy brewing.

thanks again. x

Christine said...

Sabrina/Kate and Nigel: The short stories collection sound very nice and go from one extreme to the other. I enjoy a good laugh, but then an intriguing mystery. The gramaphone brought back memories too. Ran out of needles playing "give me crack corn, I don't care." and Harry Belafonte songs so I got into my mom's sewing pins and shoved one of those into the cavity and woo hoo, IT WORKED!!! Songs never sounded so good! We just kept playing those records because now we had an unlimited supply of sewing pins. ha ha. Thanks for bringing back a fun memory while describing the stories. Both of you keep up the good work. Great job, both of you. I will look for your books, Nigel. Thanks.

David Cranmer said...

Nigel is a joy to read and it was a thrill to publish "Taking a Line for a Walk" at BEAT to a PULP.

I prefer short story collections to full length novels. I'm glad I'm not the only one.

Sara said...

Very cute "moo moo photo" :) These sound like very good stories, particularly "Merry Christmas". I know how it feels to give your family the world and not be able to afford to feed yourself. On a side note, what IS up with everyone saying Santa isn't real? I'm a believer...Santa comes in all shapes and sizes and in non-human forms as well. Anyway, good reviews and one of these days when I'm less busy in my life, I will definitely start reading the books you are reviewing. Keep up the great work!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Sabrina, love the cows! Love the review even more. Can't wait to read your work Nigel! Your shorts sound as entertaining as they are diverse.

Paul D. Brazill said...

Good call. A smashing book!

Elizabeth said...

Sounds like a collection I definitely need to pick up!

nigel p bird said...

with those opposable thumbs, no doubt. thanks again to all of you for coming along and taking time-out to comment. it's much appreciated.