Review: ‘Branwell & Other Stories’ by Michael Yates
November 27, 2013
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I have recently started attending meetings of the Black Horse Poets at Boon’s on Westgate in Wakefield. One of the leading members of this group is Michael Yates. Earlier this year, Michael published a collection entitled Branwell & Other Stories.
Branwell & Other Stories.
Cover price: GBP 9.00
The book begins with Branwell, a novella which is a prose adaptation of Michael’s play, The Bronte Boy. The script of the play is published separately, also by Nettle Books. This is followed by five short stories.
I have only read one of the short stories so far, but it was unputdownable – a story that had to be read at a single sitting. It is called Till My Eyes Bleed. It is a contemporary story of relationships, a drink problem, self-delusion, and mysterious death. It is contemporary in style, subject matter, and also because the resolution is left partly to the reader. It has also been performed as a drama – which I would have loved to have seen. The introduction doesn’t say which came first – the prose or the drama. The story certainly does not read like an adaptation, unless the adaptation was done with considerable craft and subtlety.
Seldom have I read a story by another writer which has as much in common with what I am trying to achieve in my own work. The story starts with a chance meeting in Kings Cross station, which results in a visit to a pub and the missing of a train to Leeds. Seldom have I enjoyed a story so much, both as a reader who wants to find out what happens next, and as a writer who is interested to see how another writer works.
Any-one who has read and enjoyed my stories Slow Dance With A Skeleton or Escape Kit will definitely enjoy Till My Eyes Bleed.