Book Review: The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales by Kirsty Logan


The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales by Kirsty Logan
Salt Publishing Limited (ebook), 2014
160 pages

Author Website

Amazon (UK)

What It’s About
Winner of the Scott Prize.

Twenty tales of lust and loss. These stories feature clockwork hearts, lascivious queens, paper men, island circuses, and a flooded world. On the island of Skye, an antlered girl and a tiger-tailed boy resolve never to be friends – but can they resist their unique connection? In an alternative 19th-century Paris, a love triangle emerges between a man, a woman, and a coin-operated boy. A teenager deals with his sister’s death by escaping from their tiny Scottish island – but will she let him leave? In 1920s New Orleans, a young girl comes of age in her mother’s brothel. Some of these stories are radical retellings of classic tales, some are modern-day fables, but all explore substitutions for love.

Opening Paragraph
The day after I met Grace – her pierced little mouth, her shitkicker boots, her hands as small as goosebumps writing numbers on my palm. The day after I met her, I went to the heart rental place (THE RENTAL HEART)

What I Thought
Logan is also the author of the novel The Gracekeepers on my TBR list that I bought for my Kindle a few months ago. I’ve wanted to read The Gracekeepers since I saw a poster advertising it on my way to work one morning. I bought it for the Kindle before I even had a Kindle and was using the Kindle app on my laptop. I had no idea this collection of stories was by the same author before I started to read it. Anyway, I digress.

The Rental Heart and Other Stories is a great collection of stories. I enjoyed every tale. I’m a big fan of fairytales and love reading modern versions so this collection was right up my street.

The tales in this collection are just the right shade of dark that I love. They’re quite twisted, disturbing, beautiful and haunting in equal measures. I absolutely loved these stories. I could read them again and again. I really can’t wait to read her novel, The Gracekeepers. I won’t read it for a while though. I plan to re-do the Popsugar Reading Challenge next year with different books. The Gracekeepers will be one of my choices.

Every story in this collection was great. As always, I have a few favourites. I thought The Rental Heart was amazing and one of the best stories I’ve read in ages. I’d like if this turned into a full-length novel. The Broken West really unsettled me. Girl #18 was also fantastic as was The Gracekeeper. All the Better to Eat You With and The Man from the Circus will stay with me for a long time. Sleeping Beauty is the stand out tale of this collection. I got chills down my spine with every word.

The Rental Heart and Other Stories deserved to win the Scott Prize. This is a fantastic collection of stories. I’d highly recommend it. I can’t wait to read more of this author.

Stories included:

  • The Rental Heart
  • Underskirts
  • A Skulk Of Saints
  • The Last 3,600 Seconds
  • The Broken West
  • Bibliography
  • Coin-Operated Boys
  • Girl #18
  • Una And Coll Are Not Friends
  • The Gracekeeper
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • Witch
  • All The Better To Eat You With
  • The Man From The Circus
  • Feeding
  • Momma Grows A Diamond
  • The Light Eater
  • Matryoshka
  • Origami
  • Tiger Palace




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