A Lovely and Terrible Thing


The stories are weird and wonderful, heartbreaking and inspiring ... It's one with the lot - The Herald Sun

Around you the world is swirling. You pass through a submerged town, its steeples and trees barely visible through the thick water . . .

In the distance the wreck of the gunship HMS Elizabeth lolls on a sandbank. Oil slicks the canals of the capital and even now the old men tell tales of mermen in the shallows . . . 

A pool empty of water save for a brackish puddle and bones and hanks of fur on the floor - the remains of mice or possums that have tumbled in, lured perhaps by the moisture. Or perhaps by something else . . . 

In Chris Womersley's first short fiction collection, twenty watery, macabre and deliciously enjoyable tales will keep you spellbound until their final, unexpected and unsettling twist.

You can purchase A Lovely and Terrible Thing Right here

Womersley has the chops to write prose that looks realist, then seamlessly turns vertiginously weird. His deployment of the macabre has sufficient restraint, his imagination sufficient turn, that these stories maintain the power to shock
— The Australian
There is a formal elegance to his writing, even when the language is vernacular and the settings are domestic. This creates gloomily atmospheric stories with creepy momentum that bring to mind shades of Shirley Jackson and Edgar Allan Poe, but these are not horror stories per se.
— The Age
These stories, published between 2006 and 2017, stand the test of time and assert Womersley as a powerful writer of the short form.... This collection is playful, and skips between the known and unknown, the palatable and uncomfortable. Like water, these stories are unpredictable, often turbulent, and contain great depth.
— Readings Books
The stories are weird and wonderful, heartbreaking and inspiring ... It’s one with the lot.
— Herald Sun
A Lovely and Terrible Thing is a collection of taut, dark-edged, and very successful stories. Chris Womersley’s novels have a well-deserved following, and this transition to short fiction will add to his readership and acclaim.
— Australian Book Review
There is a poetic lilt to Womersley’s prose. And he certainly knows how to end a story. In this collection the excellent endings are masterful: some leave you contemplating what might happen even after the story ends; others effect a satisfactory full stop to the narrative.
— Artshub