Like Cheever or Munro, Russell Wangersky delves stealthily into disquieting corners of the domestic sphere, his stories dissecting lives when they are fracturing, lives at stress points, lives much like the roller coaster at the centre of McNally's Fair, an exciting and popular ride gleaming with fresh paint, but about to collapse from hidden rust and broken bolts.
With sympathy for both males and females, Whirl Away explores romance, disillusionment, money worries, infidelity, layoffs and tipping points, quiet conflicts like butter simmering on a stove and about to angrily turn colour and burn.
Globe and Mail
Again and again the author revisits the idea of the invisible threat, of capricious catastrophe, of the fine, flickering balance between good and evil in human nature, and the folly of trust.
...all at once brutal and gentle, funny and cruel, timely and timeless.
Whirl Away is a persuasive, artful collection and Wangersky portrays all manner of characters...with vividness and delicacy...
The stories in Whirl Away provide ample evidence for anyone wanting to argue that literary short fiction remains stuck in a Chekhovian rut.
Quill & Quire
...a very accomplished collection, with some very fine writing.
Tautly written, perfectly edited, sharply detailed...and cleverly imagined, these stories are some of the finest examples I've ever read of how short stories ought to be written.
With skillful and eerie verisimilitude, Wangersky places most of the protagonists in this new collection of short stories squarely inside the dark hearts of their respective occupations. The breadth of Wangersky's knowledge and research into different jobs is truly astounding and worth the price of the book alone.