Wednesday, November 18, 2009

No Comebacks - by Frederick Forsyth (1982)

Writing gripping short stories is not easy. You do not have the time or the space in order to develop your characters or the story, and yet you are expected to write a story in which the characters are fleshed out to some degree, in which the story has developed enough that the reader does not feel cheated; the best short story is the one in which there is also a twist such that you get a sense of satisfaction after reading the story. There are not too many writers who are able to write effective short stories, and yet Frederick Forsyth has written multiple such compilations. No Comebacks is an interesting collection of 10 such short stories; most of these have twists, there are surprises in these stories, and the settings are also different for many of them. When you read the term, 'No Comebacks', it literally means that once you take an action, there is no way to get back to where you were.

The short stories that make up a part of this collection are:
"No Comebacks"
"There are no Snakes in Ireland"
"The Emperor"
"There are Some Days..."
"Money with Menaces"
"Used in Evidence"
"A Careful Man"
"Sharp Practice"
The stories are very different, such as the opening one, which is the story of a rich successful businessman who can have everything he wants; however he falls for a married woman who refuses to leave her husband. The rich man sends a hitman, and then you get the twist in the story. Similarly, other stories also have their own twists.

No Comebacks by Frederick Forsyth (published in 1982)

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