Thursday, 12 March 2015

Book review - All In Letters Bound In String, by Samantha Memi

What a discovery this book was! Like finding a huge box of liqueur chocolates when you thought all you had in the pantry was dog biscuits and spare lavatory paper.

Memi's unique vision of the world startles, enchants and delights in these tiny, sparkling gems of stories. There are forty-one of them, unless I miscounted, and every one a tiny treasure. I hoarded them jealously at first, reading only one or two at a time, but at last I couldn't help myself and devoured the second half of the book in one massive binge.

I couldn't really place these stories in a genre. They are all different anyway, and that pleased me greatly, because I always love it when I can't neatly place something I've read in a genre. It usually means that the book was really original, and that is certainly the case with these stories. The one common thread that appeared to me to link them all was the presence of some kind of 'what if' factor; an unwillingness to be bound by How Things Normally Are that is the hallmark of true creativity.

Memi's writing style is charming; her combination of staid, correct, almost old-school language with sometimes quite startlingly outre topics, and her matter-of-fact tone with the quite unbelievable, is charming and refreshing and an absolute delight to the reader. I laughed out loud many times. Sometimes because it was funny; sometimes with sheer pleasure.

I understand the book will be available for sale only as a paperback, and I thoroughly recommend its purchase. It is perfect for keeping on one's bedside table and dipping into when one cannot sleep, and I certainly intend to buy a copy for this purpose.

All In Letters Bound In String will release on 15 April, and will be available from the author's website -

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