Sharper Knives is a collection of fourteen dark short stories by Christopher Fowler, first published in 1992, during the earlier part of his writing career.
Ranging from the punchy and witty Norman Wisdom And The Angel of Death to the lyrical and beautiful Persia, this book is a great showcase for Fowler’s distinctive voice. Many of the characters have a bitter, cynical edge to them, which, when combined with the late twentieth-century settings, capture something of the 1980s zeitgeist.
In the collection, there was only one story I wasn’t so fond of, and that was Can’t Slow Down For Fear I’ll Die. It was only four pages long, and well-written, but it felt like a metaphor which I couldn’t fully get. In the explanatory notes at the end, Fowler simply says it ‘… is a warning’. Perhaps it was a warning to himself, and us, not to strive so hard with our endeavours.
I definitely recommend this book, and love Fowler’s writing. Dipping into these short stories in between novels is a great way to lose oneself and escape, albeit not always to a happy place!