Blog Tour + Review: Sudden Traveler by Sarah Hall

8:00 AM

I'm feeling a little under the weather so as a heads up: I'm going to be slow to replying to comments again this week! But, the good news is: the blog tour or Sudden Traveler is here!


“Sarah Hall is one of those rare writers whose short fiction has the same luminosity as her novels. But the short form allows her more room to probe and roam, to experiment with form, to sink her fingers into the earth.”—The Observer (London)

Featuring her signature themes of identity, eroticism, and existential quest, the stories in Sarah Hall’s third collection travel far afield in location and ambition—from Turkish forest and coastline to the rain-drenched villages of Cumbria.

The characters in Sudden Traveler walk, drive, dream, and fly, trying to reconcile themselves with their journeys through life, death, and love. Science fiction meets folktale and philosophy meets mortality.

A woman with a new generation of pacemaker chooses to shut it down in the Lakeland, the site of her strongest memories. A man repatriated in the near east hears the name of an old love called and must unpack history’s dark suitcase. From the new world-waves of female anger and resistance, a mythical creature evolves. And in the woods on the border between warring countries, an old well facilitates a dictator’s downfall, before he gains power.

A master of short fiction, Sarah Hall opens channels in the human mind and spirit and takes us to the very edge of our possible selves.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Sudden Traveler by Sarah Hall 
Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5)

As always, a copy of this book was provided by the publisher or author in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.

Sudden Traveler was a great glimpse into Sarah Hall's immensely talented prose and I most definitely enjoyed it. That's saying a lot when it comes to my personal taste. My relationship with short stories is a mixed bag, but Sarah Hall definitely captured my attention with Sudden Traveler.

What a great introduction to Hall's writing!

For me, short stories can be a massive miss. There are the occasional hits, yet for the most part I seem to lay into the misses more often than not. Even authors I've been die-hard fans of for years (Curtis Sittenfeld, Gillian Flynn) haven't always been able to compel me with short stories. It's one of those mediums I can't--and I'm sure many other readers can agree--always connect with.

While there were some moments I didn't exactly connect with, there was so much more good in Sudden Traveler. To put it bluntly, Hall could likely write about absolutely nothing and, based on the gorgeous tone her prose holds in Sudden Traveler, I would still find myself weaving through the lines and burrowing for good. It felt impactful regardless of what was being said or explored. And you know a writer is brilliant when they can accomplish that in so little time.

Of course, I won't spoil the stories for you. It is always difficult to review short story collections or poetry. You want to say so much, but you want to not give away the experience for other readers. I think that's all I can say, in the end, about Sudden Traveler: it's an experience and Hall is an incredible talent.

The thing about Hall's writing is that it's incredibly complex and honest; exactly the type of writing necessary to capture an audience in short stories. But, gosh, I can't stress how much I really and truly enjoyed slipping into such a prose. If you enjoy short stories that have a sort of oddness to them, that leave you feeling puzzled but somehow still utterly engrossed, then you should definitely be adding Sudden Traveler to your TBR.

About the Author

Sarah Hall was born in 1974 in Cumbria, England. She received a master of letters in creative writing from Scotland’s St. Andrews University and has published four novels. Haweswater won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (overall winner, Best First Novel) and a Society of Authors Betty Trask Award. The Electric Michelangelo was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (Eurasia Region), and the Prix Femina Étranger, and was longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction. Daughters of the North won the 2006/07 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and the James Tiptree Jr. Award, and was shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award for science fiction. How to Paint a Dead Man was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the Portico Prize for Fiction. In 2013 Hall was named one of Granta‘s Best Young British Novelists, a prize awarded every ten years, and she won the BBC National Short Story Award and the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Find out more about Sarah at her website, and connect with her on Facebook.

Tuesday, October 8th: A Dream Within a Dream
Wednesday, October 9th: Iwriteinbooks’s blog
Thursday, October 10th: The Desert Bibliophile
Friday, October 11th: Instagram: @giuliland
Monday, October 14th: Instagram: @sixminutesforme
Tuesday, October 15th: Booked J
Thursday, October 17th: Have Coffee Need Books
Thursday, October 17th: Real Life Reading
Monday, October 21st: she treads softly
Wednesday, October 23rd: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, October 24th: Instagram: @shereadswithcats

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