Balancing on the Edge of the World

Balancing on the Edge of the World

4.04 (21 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 4 business days
When will my order arrive?

Not expected to be delivered to the United States by Christmas Not expected to be delivered to the United States by Christmas


These are stories about power: children without it and adults vying to get or keep it. A small boy struggles with his parents' divorce, a doctor fails to understand the limits of his medical power, a wronged wife finds a uniquely powerful way to wreak revenge. Sometimes satirical, sometimes innovative and lyrical, the stories home in on those moments when power can spill into powerlessness: the split-second when a self-satisfied teenager is held at knifepoint by muggers, the trip to the woods with the `poor kids' which teaches a small girl she's no better than them. They chart the opposite moments when people wrest back power: a daughter rebels against her violent father, a struggling writer decides to expose a con man arts worker, a little girl who wishes her lost father would come back finds she has magic powers.

But it's a slippery thing, power, and these vivid, wry stories spring surprises: for nothing, in the end, is ever quite what it seems.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 112 pages
  • 127 x 203 x 9mm | 122.47g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • No
  • 1844713946
  • 9781844713943
  • 917,059

Table of contents

Condensed Metaphysics
The Shooting Script
Daniel Smith Disappears off the Face of the Earth
Holding Hands
Compass and Torch
Star Things
Leaf Memory
A Glossary of Bread
Going Back
Into the Night
The Way to Behave
Who's Singing?
show more

Review quote

About The Birth Machine:

A gripping story, a pithy book. -- Katie Campbell * City Limits * About The Birth Machine:

This powerful book leaves you with a sense of disquiet, anger and frustration [and] the realisation ... that what you have just read is an everyday story about an everyday event. As such it is very clever. -- Jessica Corner * Everywoman * About The Birth Machine:

An increasingly powerful narrative ... its presentation of the world of childhood contrasts nicely with a sharp satire. -- Laura Marcus * Times Literary Supplement * For Body Cuts:

Strikingly told. * Sunday Times * Elizabeth Baines has a wry humour and satirical edge. -- Martin Nicholls * City Life * For `Star Things':

Integral, readable and stylish. * City Limits * For `Star Things':

Almost ethereal in its strangeness and has great energy at its heart. -- Brendan O'Keefe * Literary Review *
show more

About Elizabeth Baines

Elizabeth Baines was born in South Wales and lives in Manchester. She has been a teacher and is an occasional actor as well as the prize-winning author of plays for radio and stage, and of two novels, The Birth Machine and Body Cuts. Her award-winning short stories have been published widely in magazines and anthologies. Her first story collection, Balancing on the Edge of the World, was published by Salt in 2007. A novel, Too Many Magpies, will come from Salt in November 2009.
show more

Rating details

21 ratings
4.04 out of 5 stars
5 38% (8)
4 38% (8)
3 14% (3)
2 10% (2)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X