No Comebacks by Frederick Forsyth

No Comebacks

No Comebacks is a collection ten of short stories by Frederick Forsyth. Each of them has different setting and each ends with a twist. The stories range from removing a husband to a trip to catch marlin, from revenge on a racist boss to a burial at sea.

As with Forsyth’s other collection of short stories, none of these feel rushed. The characters are given time to develop – to breathe, if that’s not too dramatic a metaphor. The endings are unexpected and each is a reasonable way for the story to finish. There’s nothing far-fetched or nonsensical. The only story that seems a bit dated is called ‘There are Some Days…’ This story is set in Ireland and involves the smuggling of arms for the IRA. I’m not denying that arms smuggling still happens, it’s just that the IRA link is no longer topical. Having said that, this book was first published in 1982, at which time the IRA was still very active.

No Comebacks is a good book to dip into if you don’t want to settle to a long story, or you don’t have time. It’s also impossible to categorise. Unlike The Veteran, the stories aren’t linked by involving some kind of crime. They aren’t really adventure, with the exception of The Emperor which involves marlin fishing. They aren’t thrillers. I’ve categorised this book as adventure, rather than create a ‘miscellaneous’ category under fiction. If anybody can think of a better category for this book, please leave a comment.

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