Big Night Out is a collection of short stories, recipes, song lists, illustrations and edited by Jessica Adams, Maggie Alderson, Nick Earls and Imogen Edwards-Jones. It was published to benefit the War Child charity.
Finished on: 25.11.2017
Big Night Out isn’t your typical short story collection. There really is a lot here that isn’t a short story at all, although the biggest part are short stories. I grabbed it for those (well, I grabbed it mostly for Jasper Fforde‘s short story in it), so I mostly skimmed through the other things, even though some very big names contributed various things (INXS, Steve Coogan, and Nick Hornby recommending songs? Anthony Stewart Head sharing a cocktail recipe? Joan Collins‘ beauty tips? Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver, and Boy George detailing hangover cures? It’s all there). I did feel that the selection was made on the basis of the people in any case and not necessarily for the quality of their content. But hey, it is for charity after all. If you don’t buy it for the stories, but for the good deed, you’ll get what you expect.
After the jump, I will talk about the short stories in the collection separately and you can find the table of contents so you can see what else is in there.
Ariel is a PhD student working on the topic of thought experiments. Of particular interest to her is a book by Thomas E. Lumas called The End of Mr. Y that has been pretty much lost and is supposedly cursed. So Ariel can’t believe her luck when she stumbles upon the book in a second-hand bookshop by accident. Central to the book is the troposphere – a dimension where all conciousness connects. But there is more to it than just an out-of-print 19th century book and soon Ariel finds herself in over her head and on the run.
This is one of the (many) books that I have actually had on my bookshelf for years and been meaning to read for ages. And I’m incredibly glad I finally got around to it. It is really good – smart, philosophical, intellectual and extremely gripping.