The Penguin Book of Spanish Short Stories – Book Review

The Penguin Book of Spanish Short Stories – Book Review

The Penguin Book of Spanish Short Stories

The Penguin Book of Spanish Short Stories

Author – Various
Publisher – Penguin Classics
Pages – 416
Released – 24th June 2021
ISBN-13 – 978-0241390474
Format – ebook, hardcover
Rating – 4 Stars
I received a free copy of this book.
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This exciting new collection celebrates the richness and variety of the Spanish short story, from the nineteenth century to the present day. Featuring over fifty stories selected by revered translator Margaret Jull Costa, it blends old favourites and hidden gems – many of which have never before been translated into English – and introduces readers to surprising new voices as well as giants of Spanish literary culture, from Emilia Pardo Bazán and Leopoldo Alas, through Mercè Rodoreda and Manuel Rivas, to Ana Maria Matute and Javier Marías.

Brimming with romance, horror, history, farce, strangeness and beauty, and showcasing alluring hairdressers, war defectors, vampiric mothers, and talismanic mandrake roots, the daring and entertaining assortment of tales in The Penguin Book of Spanish Short Stories will be a treasure trove for readers.

Review by Stacey

For those of you who have a love for classic literature, The Spanish Book of Short Stories is the book to purchases. Celebrating works from authors who you will be familiar with to those you will never have heard of before, the book brings together a collection of fifty-six tales, some that have never been translated into English before.

From Gothic to romance, horror to the down and out strange, the book is a collection of varied and unusual stories. Beginning with ‘The Novel on the Tram’ by Benito Pérez Galdós, published in 1871, the plot surrounds a man’s journey on a tram, from meeting an old friend who tells him stories of a Countess and how his reading distorts what is real-life and what is his imagination.

If I had to choose one I think my overall favourite would be Summer Orchestra by Esther Tusquets in which a young woman learns lessons surrounding certain types of men in society and adulthood.

The short stories have been written in chronological order starting with the earliest born, right up to the last author who was born in 1988. There are also snippets of information about the authors at the bottom of the first page of each story.

This is a book you can dip into when you want to, you can read story after story or just read one and then put it down for another day. The stories are not connected so you could read them in any order too. There will most likely be some you love and others you don’t care much for. However you read it, the book is a fabulous collection of literature that you most likely haven’t read before from authors who are not that well known in the UK. I enjoyed the book and savoured each story, reading just one a day.

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