The Ghost Who Bled
Book type: Short Story Collection
Published: 27 Apr 2017
A simple act of gallantry in the Malaysian jungle spawns a lifelong feud in the Home Counties...
A fading actor with a terminal illness devises a meticulous plan to leave the stage in style...
A pregnant composer contemplates motherhood at the end of civilisation...
Spanning centuries and continents, the stories in this collection amount to a tour de force of literary worldbuilding. From deeply insecure time travellers to medieval mystics and futuristic body modification cults, Norminton’s characters find themselves torn between conflicting impulses – temptation and fortitude, hubris and shame, longing and regret. By turns sad, strange and darkly comic, The Ghost Who Bled reveals a master storyteller of incredible range.
"Good fiction encourages us to look at the world from another’s perspective, and in his new short story collection, Norminton explores this idea in extremis ... Norminton’s host of vivid characters and minutely realised situations transfix; we can’t help but share the “bitter-almond taste of fear” of the various snares of these lives.” - The Guardian
"This is a sublime collection of short stories by a writer whose breath-taking flexibility of style gives life to an array of different voices... Unfailingly beautiful, deceptively simple and lyrically powerful" - Claire Looby, The Irish Times
Read an extract from the title story
"What a broad range of subjects and styles these short stories offer." Times Literary Supplement
"Expansive and imaginative, a collection of short stories that tug at the veil of mortality." - Disclaimer Magazine
"There is a yesteryear quality to much of Gregory Norminton’s writing, at least in these stories, several of which look backward in style to classics of the genre." - Peter Gordon, Asian Review of Books
"The Ghost Who Bled is an at once classical and contemporary; a collection of stories that are multi-layered, subtle and complete – each one a bottled miniature. This is very fine literally fiction – relevant, not archaic or esoteric, and sometimes breath-taking for its novel-like range and ambition." - Tamim Sadikali, Bookmunch
"Each story is exquisitely written" - Claire Dudman, Keeper of the Snails Blog
"What is immediately striking about Norminton’s writing is the author’s ability to adapt his voice to the collection’s settings and characters. Stories in The Ghost Who Bled span the world and its cultures, the author taking us as far afield as Malaya and Japan before bringing us nostalgically back to the green Surrey of his childhood." - Humanity Hallows
"Vivid, varied, fearless and carefully crafted too. The stories are packed with plenty to think about way after you put the book down. Bravo." - Rodge Glass
“Witty, intelligent, crunchily written, Norminton’s collection is pure reading pleasure.” - Neel Mukherjee (Booker-shortlisted author of The Lives of Others)
'"All the doors of the imagination are open to Gregory Norminton, the author of micro-fictions and exuberantly long novels; this collection roves magnificently from one side of the world to the other, bringing together people and their predicaments as only its author can. Read it and be transported, too." - Michael Caines (The TLS)
"Gregory Norminton’s tautly written, mordant short stories make the reader sit up and think. Startlingly original imagery and that rare thing, moral and political bite." - Maggie Gee
"Norminton's beautifully written stories capture the range and complexity of life with wit and compassion, insight and pathos: hugely enjoyable, very much recommended." - James Miller (The Lost Boys, Sunshine State)
"These wonderfully accomplished stories range over time and place, but what holds them together, other than the mastery of the language and the sheer gift of storytelling displayed, is their constant, complex humanity, and the sense that being human is only part of being something larger, what the narrator of the title story calls "the sufficient planet of home". - Charles Lambert (The Children's Home)