Seen as the cast-offs of stories that weren’t good enough to warrant novelisation; short stories have a bit of bad rep. Morris challenged this preconception with his earlier collection In all Probability with a great degree of success, so it is perhaps no surprise that encouraged, he has produced a further compilation of shorts for our consumption.
As with In all Probability, Jumble Tales is a mixed bag. Our favourites are One-Nil and Get it Out of Your System. Both offer a unique perspective of their protagonists and are brimming with humour, irony and ridiculously sublime wit. Each story possesses the now familiar unflinchingly open, matter-of-fact style that is synonymous with Morris’ writing; but as with its predecessor not all stories are made equal and there are a worryingly high percentage of duds in Jumble Tales.
In some ways, this is an improvement on In all Probability: the writer’s style is more cohesive, there is more confidence in the storytelling... in other respects, this is a disappointment. Not least due to the surprisingly poor editing and the uninspiring book cover. But to give the author his dues; few authors can carry-off short stories without them lacking depth, adequate characterisation or sufficient interest. Not a problem for Morris.
Yes, this still remains the vestige of the tea break or to banish waiting room boredom: but that doesn’t make it any the less laudable or enjoyable. Think of it as the You’ve Been Framed or the Oops TV of books: a veritable jumble of entertaining fun shorts.
Source: The Truth about Books