Published: 28/11/2015
ISBN: 9781784624224
eISBN: 9781784626525
Format: Paperback/eBook

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Kharshouf and other Stories
by Jack Debney

An atmospheric collection of 5 stories, all with vivid characterisation and a strong sense of place.

Three of the stories included in this collection feature the character Jim Skaife, who has appeared in the author’s earlier works. In ‘Tracking’ we see him as a young boy in a northern town, exploring friendships and the dark, bombed-out slums. In ‘The Wooden Ship’ we return to Jim’s infancy and a unloved gift given by a German POW. The eponymous story ‘Kharshouf’ features our central character as he reminisces about his time in Alexandria – an experience he has shared with the author.

‘Artichoke is an Arabic word originally: kharshouf,’ our guest had explained at the beginning of his stay. ‘And when Mr Khrushchev, the Russian leader but not for much longer, came to Egypt in 1964, people started nicknaming him “Kharshouf” - not because he resembled one all that spectacularly but because of the similar sounds to the words. It made you look at politics in a different way when you realised that the world could be blown to bits by an artichoke!’

Jack is influenced by writers as diverse as Graham Greene and Wilkie Collins.
A sequence infused with a northern ambience, a strong setting and the characters battle against adverse circumstances and survive.

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