A delightful anecdotal collection! In these days of 24 hour news many of us may feel smothered under an avalanche of anxiety, despondency or at best choking with rage over national and world events. Grand passions apart, however, there is still much to enjoy. The small pleasures of life lie all around us. They might be found in a state of mind, in the touch of a familiar object such as a favourite wooden spoon, or they may be found in fleeting observations: a baby's smile, the sudden appearance of a stag in your path; or they may be physical pleasures like sucking the wet flesh of a ripe mango or the aroma of coffee spilling out on to the pavement on a cold morning. In a mad and greedy world it is these small pleasures that keep us sane, and dare we admit it, happy.
Told with wry humour and a gentle, sometimes quirky style slightly reminiscent of a bygone era, Wood's collection contains a mixture of description and observation with a smattering of autobiographical incident.
Wood has lived in many places of the world, is well travelled and well read, with a keen sense of enjoyment in what he sees and experiences, and a talent for bringing that visually to the mind of his reader. The short, usually self-contained pieces make wonderful cameos both for those who do their reading in snatches, and those who will want to devour his stories in one sitting.
William Wood has led a nomadic life and his friends and relatives are far flung. He now lives and writes in Sussex when he is not visiting his children in France, Rutland and Cumbria or his in-laws in Norway and Slovakia. The diaries he keeps on these visits occasionally give him local colour and ideas for his stories. His short stories have been read on the BBC World Service and included in a number of magazines and anthologies. His first published novel, No Time, was brought out by Babesh/Ryan in 2003 and his next novel, Passing Wind has been shortlisted for an Amazon prize.
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