THIS ISN'T THE SORT OF THING THAT HAPPENS TO SOMEONE LIKE YOU: Jon McGregor is book club guest author on Tues 16 April, 9-10pm

(134 Posts)

Our March Book of the Month is a short story collection that highlights the tremendous power and beauty of this form of fiction. THIS ISN'T THE SORT OF THING THAT HAPPENS TO SOMEONE LIKE YOU is set in a bleak, Fenland landscape where everyday lives are acted out in quiet communities. Every one of the thirty tales is completely different, with a unique voice. All the characters seem to be threatened in some way; some manage to find peace, some are thrust further into danger.

Twice nominated for the Man Booker Prize and winner of numerous awards, Jon McGregor is a particularly skillful and distinctive writer. His style is strange, mysterious, authentic, unusual and poetic. Reading the book is like holding a delicate yet devastating crystal ball, containing strange, shape-shifting visions of the lives of others. Linda Grant put it best, in her Financial Times review: McGregor is the contemporary master of lives lived in what the Irish call a small way, and the belief, which is literature's, that we are all poetic.'

You can find more details on our March book of the month page.

You can get your paperback or Kindle version of the book here.

And don't miss the insider knowledge on all Jon's work, his BBC Short Story Awards and who he considers to be a ground-breaking British writer at his excellent website or you can follow him on Twitter: @jon_mcgregor

We are thrilled that Jon will be answering questions about THIS ISN'T THE SORT OF THING THAT HAPPENS TO SOMEONE LIKE YOU, his previous books and his writing career on Tuesday 16 April, 9-10pm. So please feel free to discuss the book here throughout the month and then come and join in the author chat on Tues 16.

Looking forward to hearing what you think...

HormonalHousewife Fri 15-Feb-13 12:53:17

Ooh I loved 'when nobody speaks of remarkable things'

we read it at a book club a couple of years ago and everybody loved it. It brought back some memories and some surprises too.

I've put my name down grin

MercedesKing Sun 17-Feb-13 09:07:28

Oh, Haven't read about his book yet, but I have plans to emerge myself in his stories in the month. Well, I'll start from 'when nobody speaks of remarkable things', then I will come back to join the discussion. smile

Clawdy Tue 19-Feb-13 17:15:59

For the second month I seem to have missed out on the chance to get a free copy! Received an email this morning telling me to apply for copy of the March book and when I scroll down to the "leave your details" bit,it says "This form is currently private and cannot be viewed by the public". What does that mean? If they've all gone,what was the point of sending me an email today?

PeazlyPops Tue 19-Feb-13 17:54:59

Received the email, but can't fill the form in, as I get the same message as clawdy.

Gargamella Tue 19-Feb-13 18:25:47

Same here re inability to apply for free book. I'm not the greatest with technology but I used to be able to handle this one. Could MN revert to how it used to operate?

Rufus43 Tue 19-Feb-13 19:25:30

Same message here! I was beginning to think I'd lost the plot. If anyone works out how to apply for a book I'd be grateful if you could let me know.

greengirlie Tue 19-Feb-13 19:33:05

Not letting me apply either.. I am quite 'up' on the fang dangle of this technology malarky.... slightly bamboozled by it confused

ditto!
If there are books left I would love to apply too

T3G43 Wed 20-Feb-13 00:42:09

Me too. Getting the same message as others. MN can you please let us know what's happening? Thanks.

Clawdy Wed 20-Feb-13 14:57:45

I see now the Book of the Month Page tells us all the free copies have gone. What happened?

ShadeMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 20-Feb-13 15:56:49

Apologies to everybody who wasn't able to apply for a copy of the book. The form was open from 12pm last Friday, then we emailed a reminder on Monday night to make sure everybody knew where to go. There was a huge response and the form closed late Tuesday afternoon. Next month we'll put the deadline on the page and on the reminder so everybody knows when it'll close.

ShadeMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 25-Feb-13 15:19:25

You can find a full guide to the various book club giveaways here.

CuriousMama Thu 28-Feb-13 22:44:15

I ordered this at the library and got an email today to say it's in :-)

So, how is everyone finding it?

Without doing any spoilers, I'd love to know whether you think the ending of 'Wires' is leading to something gruesome or not...

I enjoy the ambiguity in many of the stories, but it also constantly distracts me - my mind is yearning to reach a conclusion when it is blatantly not allowed to!

Interesting piece in FT by Sam Leith (reviewing an American, 76 year old short story writer) that resonated with my thoughts on this book - he points out that they are:

'so various. so inventive, so full - sentence by sentence - of the oddity and quiddity and complexity of individual lives... full of the ambiguous little epiphanies that are the bread and butter of the short story writer'

I had to look up 'quiddity' in the dictionary, but otherwise my feelings exactly...

thejoblot Sun 10-Mar-13 21:01:02

Only 2 stories in so far but finding the descriptions so gripping I even managed to block out the noise at a childrens birthday party!

lilibet Thu 14-Mar-13 17:29:02

I got the book from the library today and just have to finish the one that I'm reading at the moment -that- -I- -only- -started- - this- -morning- and I'll be with you.

[puts head down and gets on with reading]

lilibet Thu 14-Mar-13 17:29:44

Why didn't that work? hmm

lilibet Thu 14-Mar-13 17:30:48

Ah, I only put one dash instead of two

Yes, I know I'm talking to myself ...

[wanders off muttering]

gazzalw Fri 15-Mar-13 07:38:14

Er Tilly do you think anyone got the freebie copies? It's all rather quiet on the commenting front isn't it?

NinaNannar Fri 15-Mar-13 07:41:25

I didnt get a book. I aint a readin

I'll check about the freebie copies - agree it seems eerily quiet.

Or maybe everyone just inundated with World Book Day/Red Nose Day/fancy dress overload and no time for reading?

MeanMotherClucker Sat 16-Mar-13 16:49:33

I was warned away from short stories by my mother many years ago ("too bitty" apparently) and never quite got around to reading any until now. I started TITSOTTHTSLY yesterday and am already half way through, loving it all. The atmospheric fenland background somehow brings together the bitty-ness and the wonderful language evokes each of the very different characters in an exceptionally visual way. Very memorable, thought provoking and I'm really enjoying the change of genre.

Enough for now, back to octonauts & rugby blaring from various rooms, while I hide out in the kitchen with my book...

gazzalw Sat 16-Mar-13 17:55:06

Oh I loved short stories in my younger days and have read all the Somerset Maugham ones - they are fantastic.

I can imagine that the stories set in the Fenlands will have a Waterland bleakness to them.

Might try and see if I can find these as I'm intrigued.

NinaNannar Sat 16-Mar-13 21:11:22

I liked the post war German short stories and the (less. Erudite ) Jeffrey archer. Also goon squad was short story style.

But. I haven't read this one

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now