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Speaking with the Angel (2001)

by Nick Hornby (Editor)

Other authors: Melissa Bank (Contributor), Roddy Doyle (Contributor), Dave Eggers (Contributor), Helen Fielding (Contributor), Colin Firth (Contributor)6 more, Robert Harris (Contributor), Patrick Marber (Contributor), John O'Farrell (Contributor), Giles Smith (Contributor), Zadie Smith (Contributor), Irvine Welch (Contributor)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,435178,995 (3.38)18
'An outstanding good collection . . . the best I have ever come across' Spectator ROBERT HARRIS * COLIN FIRTH * ZADIE SMITH * NICK NORNBY * DAVE EGGERS * RODDY DOYLE * HELEN FIELDING * IRVINE WELSH * JOHN O'FARRELL * MELISSA BANK * GILES SMITH * PATRICK MARBER Speaking with the Angel is a sparkling collection of original short stories by twelve of the most exciting, innovative and entertaining writers around, brought together by Nick Hornby in aid of Treehouse, a charity that helps autistic children. 'An excellent collection and a very good sampler of contemporary literature' Guardian 'Witty and moving . . . wonderfully entertaining' Big Issue 'A genuinely great book' Heat With every copy sold £1 will be donated to TreeHouse to benefit education for children with autism.… (more)



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» See also 18 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
I bought this because I was curious about Colin Firth's story. (Good!) I have also read the others (generally, also good) except for the one by Irvine Welsh, which I stopped reading after two pages. I don't need to bother with that kind of language.

The problem with this as a collection is that there is nothing holding it together. ( )
1 vote MarthaJeanne | May 11, 2016 |
i was glad to pick this up because of the 12 authors in the collection, i'd read one thing by a few of them before, and that was it. all of the stories are alright and a couple are particularly good. i especially didn't enjoy irvine welsh and helen fielding, and thought that nick hornby's story was really good, and that roddy doyle's was fantastic and worth reading the entire book for. ( )
  overlycriticalelisa | Oct 7, 2015 |
I picked this up because I was looking for a reasonably light and fun, but not brainless, collection, so Nick Hornby seemed the way to go. Mission accomplished; that's exactly what this was. Some stories were better than others, but that's to be expected in any collection.

A portion of the proceeds from the cover price go toward schools for kids with autism, making me feel like a big jerk for having bought this used. Ah, well. ( )
1 vote librarybrandy | Mar 31, 2013 |
Well, ugh. Who would have thought that the best story in a collection populated with capital-W Writers would be the one written by a non-Writer (namely, Colin Firth)? I got this book from the library solely for Patrick Marber's contribution, as I love his play/screenplay Closer and want to read everything he's done. But I was unimpressed by his story "Peter Shelley", which seems too easy. And the story by Roddy Doyle (another of my favorite living writers) was also kind of bad, though it seemed to try so hard.

This was my first experience with Dave Eggers, who is apparently the most pretentious git to have ever written. His story is insufferable in every way. It was also my first experience with Zadie Smith, though I own both White Teeth and On Beauty. Her story was pleasant but empty.

Irvine Welsh's story was revolting. Helen Fielding's was plastic. John O Farrell's was amusing but ultimately inconsequential. Overall, it's a pretty wilted collection.

The bright spots are "PMQ" (Robert Harris), "NippleJesus" (Nick Hornby), and "Department of Nothing" (Colin Firth). Firth's is easily the best story in the collection, probably because it has no pretensions and is the least self-conscious. If the man writes anything more, I'll read it. ( )
2 vote edenic | Mar 6, 2012 |
This compilation has my very favorite short story, which succinctly describes a deeply held view I have about art. It's the one by Nick Horby, who I just love to bits and pieces, and it's called Nipple Jesus. Also, proceeds go to autism research, so come for the Nipple Jesus, stay for the altruism. ( )
  traciolsen | Mar 13, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hornby, NickEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bank, MelissaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Doyle, RoddyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Eggers, DaveContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fielding, HelenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Firth, ColinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Harris, RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Marber, PatrickContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
O'Farrell, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Smith, GilesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Smith, ZadieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Welch, IrvineContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Prime Minister: With your permission, Mr. Speaker, I wish to make a statement to the House regarding certain incidents of a personal nature.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Bestselling author Nick Hornby has brought together a star-studded group of writers to create this one-of-a-kind collection of first-person narratives. Here are Melissa Bank (The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing), Roddy Doyle (Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha), Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius), Helen Fielding (Bridget Jones's Diary), Colin Firth (star of the film Fever Pitch), Robert Harris (Fatherland), Patrick Marber (Closer), John O'Farrell (Things Can Only Get Better), Giles Smith (Lost in Music), Zadie Smith (White Teeth), Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting), and Nick Hornby himself. Speaking with the Angel is the anthology of the year: hot...hilarious...lively...literary...and all original.
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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140296786, 0241957249

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