Thursday, March 25, 2021

Backstories by Simon Van Der Velde

Dreamers, singers, heroes and killers, they can dazzle with their beauty or their talent or their unmitigated evil, yet inside themselves they are as frail and desperate as the rest of us. But can you see them? Can you unravel the truth? These are people you know, but not as you know them. Peel back the mask and see.


I received a copy of this from Simon himself back in January after he contacted me asking if I would like to review. I’m so glad I said yes!

Backstories is exactly that, they are ‘stories’ from well known people’s past. There are 14 stories, each only a few pages long, and there are little references in each to the person the story is about. I liked this, and you have to (or don’t have to, but want to), do a bit of research at the end of each one, trying to figure out who they all are (if you haven’t already guessed). They’re really interesting though, and make you wonder what kind of life some of them had.

They are all well known people, some good and some bad. But I guarantee you will know them all. There are references to sexual abuse, mental abuse, bullying in the stories, but it’s only small references. I had to get in touch with Simon and tell him I was stuck on a couple of the people, if he hadn’t of helped me out with clues I would have had no idea! 

A few of my book group pals also read it and had so much fun guessing and trying to figure out each person.

This is like nothing I’ve ever read before, a brilliant concept. If you like short stories I’m sure you will like this one.

Thank you again Simon for the advanced copy, the help with the clues, and I’m looking forward to book 2!

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