Monday, December 19, 2011

Kindle Review: TOXIC REALITY by Katherine Tomlinson

Katherine Tomlinson has done something really remarkable with TOXIC REALITY, gathering together a set of stories that are as varied and wide-ranging as any I’ve ever come across. Her diversity as a story-teller really amazes me. It’s kind of a cheat, I know, for me to compare her to other writers, but I honestly can’t think of a better way to illustrate her power as a story-teller.

There are some tales in TOXIC REALITY that make me think a little of Patricia Highsmith. Others are in the same tenuous category as James Morrow or George Saunders—uneasy fables and parables. Others still are entirely undefinable.

There’s a real love of language in Tomlinson’s stories, and on top of that a deep understanding of human nature. You get the sense that the writer loves humanity, but with the sort of love you might have for a brother or sister who’s stolen from you, or an alcoholic spouse: reluctant affection, tempered with bitter disappointment.

TOXIC REALITY is a top-notch collection, through and through. I recommend it very strongly.


  1. I have a lot of time for Katherine and her work, so I'm not surprised by the depth of the review. I have it ready to load up, so I guess the pleasure is soon to be mine.

  2. I really think you'll like it, Nigel. It's up there with the best collections I've read this last year.

  3. Spot on, Heath. I loved this collection.

  4. Heath--thank you so much for the thoughtful review. I'm so glad you liked Toxic Reality. Highsmith!! I am totally humbled.

  5. How many books can a kindle hold? I am about to find out.