Fortune Box Stories by Madeleine Swann
It sounds shallow but what first drew to this delightful little book was the cover. Look at it, it's so gorgeous I simply had to know what was inside! A book cover so cute my three year old daughter kept making off with it.
But eventually I found it hidden amongst her dollies and was able to finish, but since finishing it it has suspiciously disappeared again. Published by Eraserhead Press this is a little book containing 9 short stories of bizarro fiction. The characters all have one thing in common, they each receive a surprise package from Tower Ltd Surprise Packages which contain a very odd assortment of items that will change their lives.
It gets off to a really good start with Meera's tale, (This was one of my favourites.) who is a dissatisfied young woman who desperately wants to find her perfect date and is not the patient type. After a terrible first date she comes back to her flat to find a package has arrived, containing seeds and a tiny watering can.
For me this tale was my favourite as told from another perspective these stories would be seen as terrifyingly dark, but Madeleine Swann tells them with such charm that on the surface they appear charming and witty. I think if Madeleine chose to write straight up horror her stories would be deemed too scary to publish!
There's some great comic moments in this book which will really have you chuckling, especially the fifth story which feature the strangest love story I have ever come across. The ninth tale, another favourite, centred around Craig who has no luck when it comes to people, was really fun and shows off Madeleine's hilarious sense of humour and contains my favourite passage of the whole book, (page 96 in case you're wondering.You'll know it when you see it.) I've not shared it here as I would hate to spoil the moment for you.
I had so much fun reading this, its's such a great book. I've had a sneak peak on her Goodreads page and there are some amazing sounding titles she has already released such as Rainbows Suck, The Filing Cabinet of Doom and my favourite, Taken Hard at the Magical Time Travel Sex Resort. I need to read all of these!
About the Author
Madeleine describes herself as a psychedelic flapper, weird fiction writer, creepy stuff lover and a hideous face puller. She has been published in numerous anthologies and has many other books out there including The Filing Cabinet of Doom, a collection of short stories from Burning Bulb Publishing.
You can find out more on her website here and also on twitter @MadeleineSwann