Poignant, funny and perceptive, Helen Simpson's fifth collection of runs the gamut of emotions and deals with birth, death and everything in between. We shift from a diary chronicling the dangers of life as a woman in the bleak 2040s, to two students falling in love then almost talking themselves out of it in an argument about the end of the world, to a heartfelt anti-cancer spell cast in the hope of protecting a friend.
Moving effortlessly between tragedy and comedy and packed with a host of distinctive voices, this is an outstanding collection from a master of the genre.
When it comes to contemporary maestros of the short-story form, Helen Simpson is up there with Alice Munro... If they had any sense the 10:10 carbon-reduction campaign would distribute this book for free, such is its power
The best short story writer now working in English
In-Flight Entertainment is quite delectable, confirming her as the queen of the comic short story
Simpson's gifts are a lyrical vocabulary, an authoritative form, a special funny-sad quality and a subtlety of understanding... Add in political argument, and she is a key voice for our time
It's all packed with Simpson's deadpan wit - she is one of the most sharply funny writers in England today