Title: The Ugliest House in the World
Author: Peter Ho Davies
Genre: Fiction – short stories
First published: 1997
Edition: Paperback, published by Mariner Books / Houghton Mifflin Company 1997
Sometimes you come across a book on your bookshelf that you have had for years and never picked up to read. For me The Ugliest House in the World was such a book. I must have bought it in the late nineties, but just never fancied reading it.
When I was making up my TBR list for this year I came across this book as well as a few others, that have been languishing on my shelves for too long. I decided now is the time to read them and decide whether they deserve to take up space on my precious shelves.
First of all, this is a nice sturdy paperback and I love the feel of it. These things count for something!
I expected this to be a tricky read, but a couple of stories in I did not find it so. The author’s writing style makes it a pretty easy read. I did not like all the stories. Some I did not really see the point of, but there you go. That’s pretty normal with a collection of short stories I guess. The centre story is called The Union and is about a family caught up in a strike in a Welsh slate mining community. It is not my favourite kind of story to read, but I cared for the main character and his family.
The people that frequent these stories are not heroes. They do not do heroic things. They are normal people that tumble into events that change their lives, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot.
It was not a hard read and I am glad I finally did get around to reading these stories after all these years on my shelf, but I will not be keeping this book. I cannot see myself re-reading these stories and someone else may like them more.
3 out of 7 stars