Not So Perfect by Nik Perring is a delightfully compact collection of equally compact ‘short-short’ stories and despite the title they are each absolutely perfect. Each tiny morsel will leave you with a lingering flavour, sometimes bitter-sweet or unusual, but always memorable and satisfying. Some of the stories may be less than a page long but Perring manages to pack more meaning into 100 words than most can in 1000.
The stories may be sprinkled with magic but raw and familiar human emotions shine through in sometimes painful ways. Perring understands his characters and never judges, simply tells their story. It’s difficult to pick a favourite story from this collection as they are all so different, some inspiring tears (‘Kiss‘) and some a rye smile (‘The Angel in the Car park‘) but ‘My Wife Threw up a Lemur’ (the story the cover art is based on) won it for me simply because it tells a familiar story in such an unusual way but never has to explain itself.
Each story is illustrated with a charming line drawing on the title page adding to the special experience that is reading this book. It’s worth mentioning that the books small format makes it perfect for carrying around in a handbag to dip into throughout the day. The only thing there seems left to ask is ‘When’s the next collection out?’
NB: Another thing worth mentioning is that Nik runs an fabulous short story appraisal service called ‘The Story Corrective’. I can say from personal experience that it is well worth the money and should you try it out you will get excellent and honest constructive feedback with a very fast (under a week) turn around.