Blow-Up and Other Stories

Blow-Up and Other Stories - Paul Blackburn, Julio Cortázar The fantastic and the mundane combine in 'Blow-Up and Other Stories', often possessing the scorpion's sting in their tales. The best stories here make for a memorable collection. They have the quality of disturbing dreams, often with nightmare endings, the terrible realisation of the narrator in 'The Night Face Up', the grisly fate of the Kid in 'The Bestiary'. It's apparent something special lies ahead from the opening tale, 'Axolotl'.

It earns a five-star rating for the highlights. I was less keen on some of the longer pieces in Part Three. So 'The Pursuer', about the jazz man Johnny and his laconic biographer, strained too hard to be cool for my tastes. Inevitably, the wraith of Borges lurked in the shadows of the collection, but that's no bad thing in this reader's opinion.