Show Them a Good Time

Show Them a Good Time

3.33 (803 ratings by Goodreads)
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Winner of the Irish Book Awards Short Story of the Year 2019

'A masterclass in the short story - bold, irreverent and agonisingly funny' SALLY ROONEY

'Demands repeated reading' JON McGREGOR

'Announces the arrival of a brilliant talent' FINANCIAL TIMES

An urgent and unforgettable collection of stories, Show Them a Good Time explores types - men and women, their assigned roles and meanings - in modern society.

A young, broke Irish woman narrates her relationship with a successful comedian in New York; two hapless university students take to the stage in a bid to assert their autonomy; a school teacher makes her way through a series of dead-end dates, gamely searching for love or distraction as the world teeters towards ruin.

The characters in these magnificently accomplished stories are haunted as much by the future as they are by their pasts. Exuberant, irreverent and loaded with dark humour, Show Them a Good Time marks the arrival of a strikingly original new voice in fiction.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 135 x 216 x 27mm | 386g
  • Bloomsbury Circus
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1526611902
  • 9781526611901
  • 392,170

Review quote

I truly love and admire Nicole Flattery's writing. Show Them a Good Time is a masterclass in the short story - bold, irreverent and agonisingly funny - and it does full justice to its author's immense talent -- Sally Rooney Exhilarating. Flattery's judgments crackle with cruel, clear sight ... Flattery writes with empathy, freedom and virtuosic technique: this debut announces the arrival of a brilliant talent * Financial Times * If tradition is the kitchen sink, Flattery removes it from the wall, smashes it to pieces, and dances all over it with delight. With a literary voice that is as sophisticated and erudite as it is spiky and hilarious, Flattery has taken the short story format into an exciting, energetic, and multifaceted dimension * Sunday Independent * Startling, daring and dazzlingly dark -- Colin Barrett Smart as a whip, unusual, and very very funny, Flattery's distinctive prose is a real treat -- Claire-Louise Bennett Flattery tells the truth but tells it slant, so that from her sentences, to her symbolism, to her zany, often surrealist plots, her stories fizz with humour and surprise ... Flattery's writing - as subversive as it is original - has more than charm; acknowledging the terror, it celebrates the joy of humour in a hollow, imploding world * Irish Independent * Demands repeated reading. These stories are very funny, and very sad, usually at the same time. Which, as Flattery shows us brilliantly, is the best time -- Jon McGregor [A] mix of deadpan drollery and candour ... Extremely funny - peculiar as well as ha-ha - and highly addictive * Observer * Flattery is the latest wave of a recent dam burst of Irish talent, including Sally Rooney, Kevin Barry and Danielle McLaughlin. She has a true storyteller's ability to make a few words do a lot. The stories in Show Them a Good Time explore difficult questions about self-worth, agency and intimacy with thrilling sharpness * Sunday Times * Like Sally Rooney, Flattery is adept at capturing millennial culture, but her voice is more distinctive in its daring, eccentric intelligence. This is a collection which lives up to its hype * Spectator * A bright new voice in Irish literature. Think early Lorrie Moore, or the stories that launched Anne Enright's career. Flattery brings the reader through this world with ease, mixing the absurd with the workaday, trauma with humour * Irish Times * There's laughter in the dark and darkness in the laughter in these fabulously astute stories that are at once surreal and more real than reality. Nicole Flattery is so good -- Melissa Broder, author of 'The Pisces' At its best, which is often, Flattery's prose has a thrilling relentlessness and rhythmical snap to it; it pummels and excites * Guardian * Brutal, disorientating and bold ... Filled with appetite, anger and compelling characters ... Flattery is 29, and the themes that run through the work of many of the young Irish writers currently exhibiting such brilliant form - from Sally Rooney to Sinead Gleeson - also flit through her collection ... Some of these pieces reminded me a lot of Deborah Levy, and particularly her earlier stories: brutal, disorientating, filled with appetite, anger and characters who seem to spring from nowhere and everywhere at the same time * New Statesman * An urgent and exuberant debut short story collection * Guardian * Not only distractingly brilliant, it will make you wild with envy -- Caroline O'Donoghue One of the best short story collections I've read in a long while ... Bleakly hilarious, dark, weird. Read it! -- Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett This collection woke me up and sucked me in. By turns absurdist, frightening and funny, Flattery's writing is never less than dazzling -- Julia Armfield Irish women writers are on fire, and Nicole Flattery is yet a further brilliant example ... Ten smart stories about dating, relationships and the absurdities of modern life -- Ones to Watch * Elle * In recent years a vanguard of Irish writers, mostly women, has emerged to continue an Irish tradition: that of punching above its own literary weight. Flattery is its latest lodestar ... Flattery's work is striking from the get-go: exuberant, absurd, relevant but often oblique ... Tonally, [the stories] are at times reminiscent of the Greek film director Yorgos Lanthimos' deadpan, uncanny valley absurdism * Totally Dublin * This tour de force lurches into outright absurdism, and is reminiscent of acclaimed US author Nell Zink at her most playful. Flattery is a fresh new voice and I can't wait to see what she does next * The Crack * The first time I read Nicole Flattery I was captivated - the voice, the word choice, the oddest dramaturgical line. I thought, my god, she could be the Irish Miranda July -- Gavin Corbett * Irish Times * A ridiculously fantastic, funny and daring writer -- John Patrick McHugh Show Them A Good Time by Nicole Flattery is enthralling from start to finish ... Flattery is assured in her words, her style evident from page to page * Storgy * I first encountered Nicole Flattery's work through the Stinging Fly, and I'm forever grateful I did -- Sally Rooney
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About Nicole Flattery

Nicole Flattery's work has been published in the Stinging Fly, the White Review, the Dublin Review, BBC Radio 4, the Irish Times, Winter Papers and the forthcoming 2019 Faber anthology of new Irish writing. Her story 'Track' won the 2017 White Review Short Story Prize. She is twenty-nine years old and lives in Galway.
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Rating details

803 ratings
3.33 out of 5 stars
5 16% (130)
4 30% (239)
3 31% (251)
2 17% (136)
1 6% (47)
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