critical reception: commentary

Comments concerning P.W. Bridgman’s 2013 selection of short fiction entitled Standing at an Angle to My Age:

“Reading Bridgman is like watching a brilliant scientist at work. He places his characters under a high-powered microscope, and then brings them into clear and merciless focus, so that we see their fascinating complexity, their furtive yearnings and the pulsing of their startled hearts.”

Anne Giardini, novelist and author
of The Sad Truth About Happiness
(HarperCollins, 2005) and Advice for
Italian Boys (HarperCollins, 2009)

 

“These stories are startling, the way that the short stories of Raymond Carver are. With masterful, authorial assurance, P.W. Bridgman leads you into a quiet, recognizable neighbourhood on an ordinary day. And then he delivers an ending that is like a gunshot ringing out. The sound reverberates back to reveal, with fresh impact and insight, both character and event. As the work progresses, the effect on the reader is cumulative. An eerie suspense develops, as disquieting (yet satisfying) as a mystery novel.”

 

Leslie Hall Pinder, novelist and
author of Bring Me One of Everything
(Grey Swan Press, 2012),
On Double Tracks (Lester &
Orpen Dennys, 2002) and Under the
House (Vintage Canada, 1990)

 

“What a privilege to read this beautiful collection of 18 short stories from England, Ireland and Canada. From the mysterious and magical Mr. Pound, to Bridgman’s final tale of gossip and truth, the author’s tales take me back to incidents of my own youth, lessons so many of us forget too soon. P.W. Bridgman has mastered the art of description, from an intimate peek into the neighbours’ kitchen on a Sunday morning, to a tragic act of wartime betrayal, to young love, to the dignity of a man’s last days. This is a collection you’ll want to recommend to friends, young and old.”

Ben Nuttall-Smith, novelist and
author of Blood, Feathers and Holy Men
(Libros Libertad Publishing, 2010)
and Secrets Kept/Secrets Told
(Libros Libertad Publishing, 2012)

 

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Comments concerning other examples of P.W. Bridgman’s published fiction:

“… moving and accomplished work …”

Ian Colford, former editor
of Pottersfield Portfolio and author of
(most recently) The Crimes of Hector
Tomas (Freehand Books, 2012)

 

“… slightly surreal and enormously entertaining …”

Deborah McMenamy, editor of
Labello Press and winner of the
Eric Hoffer Editors’ Choice Award
for Fiction (2011)

 

“The narrative is simple and straightforward; the language of the telling is brilliant, lyrical. A delight to read and I would think a delight to hear read aloud.”

Sharon Riis, sometime judge
of fiction competitions for Grain and
author of (among other titles)
The True Story of Ida Johnton
(The Women’s Press, 1976)

 

“… a brilliant exposition of Irish Catholic life and the relationship between a young couple and [the young woman’s] family …”

Polly Robinson, author and
contributor to anthologies such as
The Survivor’s Guide to Bedlam
(B. Wrixon Books, 2012)