Chance Developments

Chance Developments

Large Print - 2015 | First large print edition.
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Shorn of context, unknown people look out to us from old and anonymous photographs, and each image has magical appeal. Alexander McCall Smith, one of the world's best-loved writers, has reimagined the stories of these individuals in this charming, humorous, unexpected and poignant collection. The fifteen photographs captured here are all from days long gone - some are formal in setting with a sepia tone, some are hazy family snaps. Every one of these images is powerful and intriguing in its own way and in Alexander's hands, each reveals a story of love.
Publisher: New York :, Random House Large Print,, [2015]
Edition: First large print edition.
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780735205994
Characteristics: x, 238 pages : illustrations


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Mar 15, 2017

This book contains a number of short stories. All of the stories are wonderfully written BUT everyone of them ends so abruptly and it's as though the story has no ending. I did not enjoy the way the stories were finished.

AnnabelleLee27 Feb 03, 2017

Using old photographs for inspiration, McCall Smith offers 5 short stories exploring themes of love and connection. While the stories are unassuming and often surprisingly moving, their brevity may be what lessens their overall impact. I especially liked the final story (He Wanted to Belief in Tenderness) which I thought had more staying power than the others. A quick and easy read.

Jan 05, 2017

So so. There have been more recent whole novels developed around collections of old photographs (Miss Peregrine's home for Peculiar Children at top of my list) that are much more spectacular. Short stories just don't cut it for me in the use of old photographs.

McCall Smith's talent lies in expressing ideas through well-known characters interacting over a period of time, either in lengthier novels or in short stories or instalments. What's missing in these stories is his characteristic conveyance of some kind of idea, issue or opinion, often with a moral or philosophical slant, through people interacting with each other over time and in a relationship. Behaviour is studied or observed. These short cliches are lacking the depth that is the essence of McCall Smith's best writing.

Jul 31, 2016

Based upon random photographs from other eras, Alexander McCall Smith has created 5 short stories. Each story is quaint, descriptive, and thought-provoking in the manner which Smith encourages the reader to consider relationships.

In the author's note, AMS approaches the topic of the transformation of love. He also quotes Auden, one of his favorite poets, in regarding a preference to be the "more loving one" when discussing reciprocated love.

In any of Smith's books, it is apparent that he has a love for people. His ability to convey this message in an intelligent, yet unassuming manner is one of the many reasons he is one of my favorite authors.

Jul 24, 2016

Four delightful short stories with endearing characters teaching us kindness, tolerance and the wisdom of life . After reading this book one will not be able to look at an old black and white photograph again without wandering about the story behind it. Mr McCall Smith proves again that he is one of the greatest storyteller of our times .

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