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The Ends of Our Tethers: 13 Sorry Stories

by Alasdair Gray

I began by smiling wryly at the mordant wit but by story thirteen I was swimming in gloom. Don’t be put off, these are excellently written stories but don’t read them when you are feeling depressed or life won’t be worth living.

Extract

Success is overrated. The best proof of our worth is how we respond to failure. Herman Melville said that or something very like it. My marital partner still loves me, so do our children, I have recently retired with a cosy pension from a professional job which did some good and very little harm, so I have never been tested by really big failures. Yet the moments I remember with most interest are not my happiest ones, but those times when the ordinary ground under my feet seemed suddenly to sink, leaving me several yards lower than I thought normal or possible.

Parallels

Where I'm Calling From by Raymond Carver
 

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