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Light Lifting

by Alexander MacLeod

A collection of seven short stories featuring random experiences - running, brick laying, swimming - they are real gems. The vivid description makes you feel part of each story sharing each character's fears, anxieties and pain. Slightly unsettling as some have unexpectedly sad and sometimes vague endings - but they definitely stay with you long after you have finished reading! I didn't expect to like this book - but I did!

Extract

Burner and I used to race the trains at night from the American side, under the river, and up through the other opening into the CP railyard .... We were always good runners, but ninety per cent of racing the trains is just learning to deal with straight fear and the sensation you get from that hot surge of adrenaline flowing through you. It was all about going forward and just trying to stay up on your feet. If you did go down and you felt your leg brush against the damp fur of a rat or you caught your arm on some chunk of metal or got scraped up against the exposed wall of the tunnel, there was no time to even think about it. You just got up as quickly as you could and even though you could feel your pulse beating through an open cut and you might have wrenched your ankle pretty bad, you still had to go on as if everything was working perfectly according to plan .... They used to say that once you were in there running, if you ever heard the train coming up from behind, or if you even just caught the sound of that first echo, then that meant you had something like three minutes before it caught up and pulled you under.

Parallels

Free Love and Other Stories by Ali Smith
Dear Life by Alice Munro
 

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