The Shingle Bar Sea Monster and Other Stories by Laura Solomon is a short story collection, that it only partly successful. There is a lot to commend the book, there are some good individual stories, and the writing is of a universally high standard, but it lacks the spark that brings a collection together. There are elements of fantasy in some stories, such as the title piece 'The Shingle Bar Sea Monster' where a young girl, with troubles at home is offered a new life under the sea. In 'Memory' a man with amnesia finds that he prefers his new life, to his old one, whilst in 'Anaesthesia' a girl loses two sisters, her twin to an accident, and her much younger sister to suicide. In many ways, stories open at a point of drama, and we are straight into the plot, and new characters, and unlike in novels, where there tends to be a resolution, most of these stories finish with no real ending, they just seem to end just before another incident happens, so in many ways it seems like watching individual episodes of soap operas. Although these work as short stories, there is room for development in most of them, and I would rather have seen more of that, rather than the simple tastes of potentially bigger stories that this worthwhile collection offers its readers.