Possibly the oddest short story collection I have read this year. Definitely the most fun.


What, No Pudding
by Sheila North
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed these stories by Sine fm presenter Sheila North. I'm particularly fond of Penelope, Queen of the Dole Queue. Sometimes it seems as if people in stories just don't live in the same world as us, but in this story Sheila North drags a mythical character kicking and screaming into reality. When Odysseus clears off on his round the world voyage, Penelope struggles to make ends meet, and soon finds herself pondering just how to answer the question about marital status on the benefit application form.
Turf Wars similarly blends reality and fantasy, in an improbable but oh-so-entertaining account of garden fairies running wild in a South Yorkshire backwater.
Then there are Bill the dragon and the defenestrated Bede.  I've been waiting a long time for a story which justifiably uses the word 'defenestrated'.  Sheila makes it worth the wait, with her charming tale of a nearly-flameless dragon and a life-changing encounter in an alehouse.
Quirky, funny and feisty, this is a story collection with a difference. Oh, and it's a quick read, with an adorable dragon on the cover, drawn by the talented Tom Brown!  What's not to love?!

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