Review - We All Hear Stories in the Dark by Rob Shearman

My first introduction to Rob Shearman’s short fiction was on an Arvon course some years ago. He was one of the resident tutors, and on the final night, he read his story, Coming Into Land. It was breathtakingly good, and it was the start of a joyful journey through the rest of his work.

We All Hear Stories in the Dark is a journey in itself. A journey, a series of choices, a search, an unfolding puzzle with no single solution. It’s a short story collection unlike any other – 101 stories spread across three volumes and held together by a framing narrative. As a reader, you navigate the collection in a way that will be familiar if you ever read any of the Choose Your Own Adventure children’s books. At the end of each story, you make a choice which leads you to the next, meaning that each reader’s journey is different. There are secrets hidden in the structure, and a wonderful playfulness to the twists and turns that you’re forced to follow. But beyond the uniqueness of the concept, We All Hear Stories in the Dark is a wonderful collection of wonderful stories from an exceptional writer at the very top of his game.

It will have a permanent place on my shelf, and I have no doubt that I will come back to it over and over again.