Jigs & Reels by Joanne Harris, Review: Delicious dark humour

Jigs and Reels is international bestselling author Joanne Harris’ first short story collection.

Joanne Harris - Jigs & ReelsJigs and Reels Synopsis:

Each of the twenty-two tales in this enchanting collection is a surprise and a delight, melding the poignant and the possible with the outrageous, the magical, and, sometimes, the eerily haunting. Wolf men, dolphin women, defiant old ladies, and middle-aged manufacturers of erotic leatherwear — in Jigs & Reels the miraculous goes hand in hand with the mundane, the sour with the sweet, and the beautiful, the grotesque, the seductive, and the disturbing are never more than one step away.

Whether she’s exploring the myth of beauty, the pain of infidelity, or the wonder of late-life romance, Joanne Harris once again proves herself a master of the storyteller’s trade.

(Harper Collins)

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Joanne Harris is a wonderful writer and that talent is on full display in this collection of short stories.

The eclectic mix of stories in Jigs and Reels covers a broad range of genre from fantasy, drama, reflection and mystery. Just like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get next…

In Jigs & Reels readers get a glimpse into the dark but deliciously humorous mind of Joanne Harris.

While not necessarily a pre-requisite, short stories with a real twist at the end are those that generally appeal to me most. Just some of my favourites in this collection of 22 stories were:

  • The Ugly Sister – from the seed of Cinderella to a more gritty reality
  • Free Spirit – dark and menacing, scarier than your average full-length thriller
  • Tea With The Birds – thoughtful, deep and charming
  • Breakfast at Tesco’s – love for real people in the real world

I thoroughly enjoyed Jigs and Reels. Joanne Harris’ prose is so intelligent and elegant – a pleasure to read.

BOOK RATING: The Story 4 / 5 ; The Writing 4.5 / 5  — Overall 4.25

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Genre: Short Stories, Literature, Action, Mystery, Romance, Drama, Humour, Sci-Fi-Fantasy

About the Author, Joanne Harris

Joanne Harris is one of the UK’s best-loved and most versatile novelists. She first appeared on the scene with the bestselling Chocolat (made into an Oscar-nominated film with Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp), which turned into the sensuous Lansquenet trilogy (with Lollipop Shoes and Peaches for Monsieur le Cure). She has since written acclaimed novels in such diverse genres as fantasy based on Norse myth (Runemarks, Runelight, The Gospel of Loki), and the Malbry cycle of dark psychological thrillers (Gentlemen & Players, Blueeyedboy, and now Different Class). Born in Barnsley, of an English father and a French mother, she spent fifteen years as a teacher before (somewhat reluctantly) becoming a full-time writer. In 2013, she was awarded an MBE. She lives in Yorkshire, plays bass in a band first formed when she was sixteen, works in a shed in her garden, spends far too much time online and occasionally dreams of faking her own death and going to live in Hawaii. Check out Joanne Harris’ website and connect with her on Twitter.