Troubador How to Steal a Piano and Other Stories

Released: 28/11/2017

ISBN: 9781788039765

eISBN: 9781788033862

Format: Paperback/eBook

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How to Steal a Piano and Other Stories


How to Steal a Piano and other stories is a set of intriguing tales of our time – some dark and challenging, others light and comical.

The title story tells of a young piano salesman in Harrods who comes across a Bechstein grand in storage that appears to have been forgotten about. Would anyone miss it? There’s only one way to find out. Grasshopper and Unlucky for Some narrate the trials and tribulations of single women and online dating. It should be so straightforward, but even something as simple as meeting up with the correct man can be problematic. Pirates invade a usually quiet Derbyshire town in Matlock Meg and the Riber Hoard, and in Runner a trio of yobs get the shock of their lives when they try to avoid paying the bill at Mr Ping’s Chinese restaurant. Zulu the police dog will entertain telling his own story in Woof Justiss, and octogenarian Dotty extends her vocabulary when she researches the history of the c-word in Sevenoaks library.

Beneath the savoury and unsavoury characters and the twists and turns of their stories flow some thought provoking themes. Status based on ill-gotten gains, the self-destructiveness of road rage, lifelong barriers between fathers and sons, the therapeutic nature of a good limerick, and the convoluted sex life of the clergy.

John Hughes has skilfully interwoven adventures from his own life with the fruits of his imagination in thirteen stories that will have you laughing one moment, gasping the next, and quite possibly shedding a tear or two.

How to Steal a Piano is now available - thank you, Troubador, for making it a pleasurable and seemless experience. This is a collection of 13 short stories on a wide range of subjects from the title story, based loosely on my experience as a piano salesman in Harrods, to online dating via a nasty case of road rage, a talking police dog and a lovable rogue (from a distance) called Halitosis Henry.

It's early days but I've had some lovely feedback already plus a number of questions about where fact ends and fiction begins. Naturally, I couldn't possibly comment!

This is my second published work of fiction. my first was Spitfire Spies, a World War II spy thriller published in 2016, and I have a second novel, Follow My Leader coming soon. This one imagines an elderly German refugee popping up in Reigate in 1951 claiming to be ... wait and see!

A hugely enjoyable read! I was given this book as a present and found the short stories diverse and well written, with some great plots and great dialogue. If strong language worries you, stay away from 'Road Rage', but I thought the language was very appropriate for the plot. I was particularly impressed how well Hughes writes about women's thought and the way women act. This is a brilliant read, with each story just long enough to be read before going to sleep. 'How To Steal A Piano' would make a very nice present for anyone who loves reading.

by Vera Lemke

These stories are so well written that it's difficult to decide what is fact and what is fiction. All very convincing in their descriptions of sometimes bizarre human behaviour. A rollercoaster ride through several emotions. Very entertaining.

by Sue Wharrad

Not my reviews - I'm the author! But I'd like to share ther views of others:

"I loved every story, difficult to choose a favourite, perhaps its Dotty, but I did love Unlucky for Some, made me laugh out loud. A very well written book ideal to pick up and read. Well done John Hughes hope you do some more!"

"An eclectic collection of wonderfully imaginative short stories, provoking many different emotional responses. Some made me laugh out loud, one in particular was very moving and poignant. All very enjoyable. I strongly recommend them."

"Laugh out loud. I loved this book of short stories, it was great reading about places near to me. Really well written, easy to read and I couldn’t put it down. Highly recommend you read this book and hopefully John will write another collection of short stories again soon."

"How to steal a piano and other stories. . Brilliant book... the author manages to bring the lives of ordinary everyday people to life with their unique tales and individual histories. He cleverly reveals the depth and diversity of each character using a quirky humour, sadness and often surprise. Could definitely see similarities to Alan Bennett. Great read! Good book club choice."

by John Hughes

John Hughes

John Hughes was born in Sutton Coldfield, in the English Midlands, studied music at Royal Holloway College and has lived in Surrey for most of his adult life. He has earned a living in a variety of ways - selling pianos in Harrods, playing keyboards in a tribute band, editing a magazine, recruiting IT professionals, as a restaurant reviewer, and, most recently, managing in the NHS. He has written half dozen non-fiction books and two novels. How to Steal a Piano and Other Stories - a set of thirteen short stories - is his first publication with Matador.

In a pub garden July 2014
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