Michael W. Thomas presents Sing Ho! Stout Cortez, a blend of novellas and stories. From big picture to the smallest detail, these are compelling journeys through lives and places, studies of the human heart in all its richness.
Michael presented Sing Ho! Stout Cortez at a dual ‘live’ launch with Suz Winspear who launched her poetry collection Picking Blackberries in a Plague Year. The event took place at The Studio in The Hive, Sunday 24 July 2022, and an online audience also enjoyed the readings. The writers read their own work and answered questions from the audience, and we also had most entertaining readings from poets John Sewell and Math Jones, the guests of the featured writers.
About Sing Ho! Stout Cortez:
All of these pieces were written between 2014 and 2020. The earliest, Esp, was shortlisted for the UK Novella Award, 2015, and enlarges on the experiences of Henderson Bray, first encountered in ‘Misshapes from Cadbury’s’ in Thomas’s story collection The Portswick Imp.
Ted Eames, poet, traveller, member of the Borders Poetry Writing Group, and cover designer for Sing Ho! Stout Cortez, considers this ‘… a wonderfully entertaining collection of novellas and short stories in Sing Ho! Stout Cortez. Thomas has the rare ability to combine good, satisfying storytelling with a poet’s judicious eye for the telling phrase and the vivid metaphor. He is especially skilled in the use of convincing dialogue between the various characters we meet. This collection, which takes the reader from familiar places to the Caribbean island of Grenada, is full of fine writing and rewarding, witty tales that warm us with their deft humanity.’
Ted Eames www.tedeames.com
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An Extract from a Review by Elizabeth Chell
‘I have just finished reading Michael W. Thomas’s Collection of novellas and stories Sing Ho! High Cortez. It is a book I will want to read over and over. The central theme for this collection of stories is family life and friendships. The first novella, Esp: The Voice of Grenada, is the story of a group of boys. We journey with them as they grow from boys to men and learn the history of their country. The music they compose and play is more than the rhythm of their lives; it is their personal and Grenada’s battle for freedom. The writing is poetic and beautiful; the cultural refences to music and film resonate with one’s own journey from child to adulthood. It is witty and poignant. It is of no surprise that such a clever story, with its rich dialogue, should have been shortlisted for the UK Novella Award 2015.’
To see the full review please click here.
A Review by the Online Book Club
Josephe-Anne reviewed Sing Ho! Stout Cortez for the Online Book Club, here is an extract:
‘The book was named after one of the short stories in which a bold dreamer performed a one-man play at a New Year’s Eve party, and I must say that he, and so many of the other characters, were delightfully original. “The Maker’s Mark” was my favorite story in this collection, and the teenaged protagonist, Ian Wilkerson, was my favorite character because he reminded me of my younger self. Ian had the unusual habit of analyzing how people entered their vehicles. “Tickle, Tickle” was my second favorite piece because, even though it was upsetting, I liked the realism and the fact that the main character was able to come to terms with her horrific past in a truly empowering way. I also liked the inclusion of Grenadian vernacular in the novella called “Esp: The Voice of Grenada.” Helpful footnotes provided the definition of these words. It would be interesting to hear an audiobook version of this story read by someone with a Grenadian accent.’