Troubador The First Hints of Purple

Released: 28/02/2017

ISBN: 9781785898914

Format: Paperback

Review this Book

The First Hints of Purple


The First Hints of Purple is a wide-ranging collection of stories whose meticulous, elegant prose encompasses everyday experience alongside shrewd and often comic insights into human nature. Many of the tales are familiar in form whilst others comprise what Hill refers to as ‘indeterminate literary entities’. These probe beneath the surface of ordinary events in pursuit of those indefinable aspects of reality about which no convincing explanation exists. Although such matters are by nature ‘profound’, they are also part of daily life - thereby justifying a hint of schadenfreude when a passenger train to Heathrow is delayed. Alternatively, we can only watch in silence as the Fireweed, displaying its ‘first hints of purple’, bursts into flower, regardless of ‘nature red in tooth and claw’ in the nearby undergrowth. By contrast, in ‘The Rathbone-Baker Prize’, we can breeze lightheartedly along to the Quantum Gallery where a visitor fails to realise that a pile of newspapers is not just a pile of newspapers but a bona fide exhibit! The First Hints of Purple is a collection of tales in which subject matter, mood, length and style vary greatly. Featured at intervals, there’s a further, distinctive side to Hill’s work in which his characters meditate on the enigma of ‘time’. Indeed, mentioned repeatedly throughout the diverse and always riveting ups-and-downs of Hill’s stories, ‘time’ is a recurrent question. And it’s a question to which he wisely gives no answer! Underpinned throughout by humour, this book will appeal to established short story lovers as well as to a broader readership.

The First Hints of Purple demonstrates remarkable diversity. Coloured by a love of landscape, Hill paints an unusual, often metaphysical picture of the real world which, alongside a flair for satire, produces an absorbing, roller-coaster of a read.

by Michael Wolfe

It is always advisable to have a book of short stories to hand. So I often dip into collections of Somerset Maugham, Maeve Binchy and V. L. Whitechurch and am always delighted when I re-read their brief and absorbing tales. The First Hints of Purple by Michael Hill is a new volume containing 'short stories and contemplations' which I shall pick up many times in the future to revel in the humorous and the accomplished tale-telling.

by John Hyatt

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Hill's highly entertaining, humorous way with words made me laugh out loud again and again. Wonderful writing style - and beautifully designed!

by Jean Braid

I’ve just finished reading Michael Hill’s book The First Hints of Purple. And I loved it! His brilliant observation and gentle humour were prominent throughout - as was his memorable use of language. On page 26, for example, where he laments the approach of winter, a phrase like ‘the tinselled threat of Christmas’ continues to resonate at the back of my mind. There can be no doubt that Hill is a very good writer who, as it happens, fits in well with my own favourite authors among whom I include names such as Lawrence Sterne, R.S Surtees, Siegfried Sassoon and C.S Forester.

by Ned West-Sherring

  • Buy as a printed
  • £8.99

  • 4 customer reviews
    Currently out of stock
Also by Michael Hill / Related Books