Item description for Poisoned Petals by Andy Crabb...
Andy Crabb has been a resident in Spain for twelve years and his love of the language and the country has caused him to write POISONED PETALS This anthology of short stories is set entirely in the towns and villages of ancient and modern Spain, on the hills that we see from our patios, and behind the beautiful doors of the houses in our narrow streets. Historical characters roam through the first few stories, but are soon overtaken by some of the people who form the Spain of today: the antique-shop owner, the Spanish farmer, the unrequited lover, carpet vendors, estate agents, teachers of English, pampered ex-models, the department-store Father Christmas, the thief and a host of others. All these characters that we know so well are linked together by our own human emotions and behaviour, which range from treachery, revenge, dishonesty, murder and mayhem, to courage, self-sacrifice, compassion and love. Some of these stories are based on snippets of fact, others are the colourful product of the author's unconventional imagination. Books about Spain are many and cover everything from "verbs to vines", but this collection of tales must be read by anyone who has a feeling for this wonderful country and its people.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.95" Width: 4.8" Height: 1.1" Weight: 0.49 lbs.
Release Date Mar 20, 2007
Publisher libros international
ISBN 1905988273 ISBN13 9781905988273
Reviews - What do customers think about Poisoned Petals?
Surprising, ironic, entertaining Aug 18, 2008
Poisoned Petals by Andy Crabb is a set of over forty short stories, tales with a Spanish flavour. Most are set in Spain, with many featuring locations and people from within the Costa Blanca, where the author lives, works and continually observes. Some are historical, others utterly contemporary, both in time and in content. Property developers, estate agents and used car salesmen figure alongside more traditional Spanish figures, such as the bar owner, the peasant farmer and the land owner. Some stories feature characters from Spain's Moorish period, and others pre-Visigoth, even pre-Roman Iberians.
It is surprising, therefore, to read in the highly informative author's postscript that several of the pieces germinated elsewhere, in Britain and southern Africa, for instance. Some were transplanted items from newspaper stories, while others arose from museum visits, local tales or shared discussion with other writers. But the stories grew in Andy Crabb's fertile imagination and bloomed into a veritable display of skilful, entertaining writing. The fact that the author claims they eventually flowered into Poisoned Petals gives the reader a hint from the start that irony and twist will play their part.
Many of Andy Crabb's stories deal with the sibling concepts of revenge and retribution. People are often "getting away with something", getting one up on an innocent or unsuspecting victim. Driven to anger by such perfidious exploitation, these inherently gentler, law-abiding characters themselves become vengeful, calculating deceivers, until the score is decisively settled. In often morally satisfying conclusions, many of the original villains receive a comeuppance that is significantly sweeter than mere defeat, longer lasting than simple victory. And each of these conclusions has been richly deserved.
In Preserved For Posterity, for instance, the retribution of the wronged husband is horrid in the extreme. But then the unjustly punished lover-thief-craftsman of the story was never really guilty of his accused crime. We know that. But then that's perhaps why he has the final, though silent, laugh at the judgment of eternity.
So it is ideas of morality and justice, honesty and loyalty that suffuse Poisoned Petals. We are presented with people who try to ride roughshod over others, whose understandable, merely human hesitancy, born of their desire to uphold and respect another's potential for dignity, identifies them as potential prey. Usually the victims win through in the end, turning the tables decisively on their predators. But this often happens only after the victims, themselves, have displayed their ability to become, if provoked, as devious, as base, as calculating and, indeed, as mercenary as the objects of their retribution.
And so Poisoned Petals gives some beautiful insights into human behaviour, some vivid illustrations of resourcefulness. It is a collection to read over a week or two, a few stories at a time, since each is self-contained and memorable. The stories provoke us to reflect on that human condition, and profitably, enjoyably so.
A must for the rucksack of all walkers and travellers Jul 1, 2008
Picture yourself in a small tavern in the mountains of Andalucia, the Pyreneess, or the Sierra's. It doesn't have to be, maybe the parks and mountain ranges of Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado ... Yosemite. Wherever you walk and where ever you travel a book is the perfect companion.
Now.., imagine a slightly warm glass of Rioja, a few plates of simple tapas, the sun setting over the distant mountains and imagine tired aching muscles deservedley earned earlier in the day on the long but rewarding trek to nowhere in particular and back again. And imagine an ideal read to compliment that bottle of vino tinto. Imagine Spain. Poisoned Petals by Andy Crabb is that perfect read. Libros International have discovered a real gem, in Andy Crabb. A simply wonderful collection of stories with a Spanish flick. Just how does he do it? His writing talent is unquestionable, the stories are captivating, compulsive reading, written in the first person and the third person, from the viewpoint of male, female, young or old, it simply doesn't matter to Mr Crabb. In 'El Gorrero' there is a full novel in the making, possibly the best short story I have ever read, but with one big fault... I wanted more, I wanted a full novel, a Chris Stewart type yarn spanning three hundred pages. Chris Stewart but better. Congratulations Mr Crabb, quite simply a breathtakin holiday read, ideal for Spain or anyone longing to get there, ideal for anywhere rugged hot and dusty, a must for the rucksack of every hiker, rambler, or wanderer venturing to Spain but ideal for anyone just wanting to drift away in time, to escape the pressures of modern day life and float away into a world of pictures created by their own imagination with a little help from a genius of the written word.