Tuesday, 5 January 2010

The snow cow (Kochanski)

I received The snow cow to review shortly before Christmas, via librarything.com's Early Reviewer scheme. I have often requested their books, but this was the first time that I got lucky. As the book is a short story collection subtitled "Ghost stories for skiers" I thought that I should save it for our skiing trip. I was planning just to read my way through it, but when we were bored with Austrian TV one night, my partner and I decided to read the stories to each other. The experiment was mixed - we liked the idea of reading aloud to each other, but we weren't very impressed by the stories.

The book contains 13 skiing themed stories set in Switzerland; the author obviously knows his stuff about skiing and the area which made them seem pretty convincing to us seasoned skiers. However, I had two major quibbles with the stories. Firstly, neither of us found the stories remotely scary, or even particularly ghostly. Disquieting is about as far as I would go. Secondly, I did not find the writing particularly good; in fact, my partner said "If he skis as well as he writes, then I wouldn't want to be anywhere near him on the piste". I thought it was a bit self-conscious and overly-written. Like another librarything.com reviewer I also found myself wondering what the point of some of the stories was.

Anyway, I liked the idea of reading aloud, and I liked reading stories about skiing. So does anyone have any recommendations for short stories which can be read aloud, or stories about wintersports?


  1. Well it sure sounded like a good idea... sorry it didn't work out. I can't think of any stories about winter sport off the top of my head, but will let you know if I come up with anything.

  2. I'll echo JoAnn's sentiments. I try very hard to pretend it's anything other than winter:)

  3. Oooh some of Poe's collections are great read allowed. I have to say from the cover of this book I would be dubious if it was a spooky read. Sounds like a fun one though regardless.

  4. We have snow here now and I'm wishing we didn't...

    Simon - I think you have it in one with the cover...


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