Review: Backstories – Simon Van der Velde

My rating: 4.5/5 stars

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Backstories is a unique collection of stories each told from the point of view  of a famous, (or notorious) person at a pivotal moment in their lives. The  writing is literary but accessible and the voices vividly real. The settings are  mostly 60’s and 70’s UK and USA, and the driving themes are inclusion,  social justice and of course, nostalgia – but the real key to these stories is  that the protagonists’ identities are withheld. This means that your job is  to find them, leading to that Eureka moment when you realise who’s mind  you’ve been inhabiting for the last twenty minutes.

Fourteen familiar souls stripped naked.

My thoughts

I can say for certain that I have never read a book quite like this one and honestly it was so much fun!

This was such a intriguing read and every story had me gripped. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time with the mystery of who I was reading about. I absolutely loved the guessing game involved with this book and it made it such a unique read that I think everyone would enjoy.

Part of the fun was also not quite guessing correctly or have an inkling that I needed to do a quick Google to confirm my suspicions. I felt like I was playing the part of a detective and loved it. It was a special feeling to know that you guessed the famous figure correctly!

Each story was written in such an accessible way and in the information and clues were not swamped by too much description. I really felt that Simon did a great job of weaving in the clues as they fit the stories well and it never felt like they were too obvious. I particularly loved the stories surrounding the ‘villains’ within living history. The mixture between the nature of the figures and why they were famous was such a thrill and you never knew if you would love or hate the character in the following story!

I have never read a collection of short stories before and to be honest I wasn’t sure how I would feel about them. I’m so happy that I gave Backstories a try and ended up loving it! It was such a fab way to gain insight into the the background of some of the most famous characters in history.

I would recommend Backstories to everyone. No matter what your preferred genre I am certain that you will love this unique take on the worlds most famous figures.

I was kindly sent Backstories by Simon in exchange for an honest review.

To buy Backstories:

Do you have a suggestion for the next book to add to my bookshelf? Let me know in comments.  

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