Any Other Mouth is the astonishing debut collection of short stories from writer Anneliese Mackintosh.
From the off Mackintosh claws at you, asking for nothing except that you sit down and hear her. As you listen to her, you find yourself wanting to hug her, applaud her, laugh with her, cry with her and at times, cry for her.
With such a varied collection it’s hard to pigeonhole and say that she is a compassionate, vibrant, melancholy, excitable or writer, or indeed any of the other adjectives that could be thrown her way. Anneliese comes across as I imagine she does in real life – passionate, knowledgable, caring and unflinchingly honest. You want to know what she is thinking because she writes it down so bloody well.
Reading a book knowing that it is fact based fiction is a peculiar feeling because you’re forced to be voyeuristic, and whatever the subject matter which in this instance can be brutal at times, is an awkward standoff between writer and reader. Often people read for escapism, but Any Other Mouth makes you feel like you’re sat naked reading in front of everyone you’ve ever known next to a giant mirror that shows off the lingering muffin top despite your efforts at the gym.
I’ve found this book very hard to describe to any I’ve told about it, and I’m finding it harder here because I can’t wave it through your screen and say read it. I think that if more people read and wrote words like these, the world would be a far superior place for it.
For a bit more insight, check out the books online trailer and you can buy, or order, Any Other Mouth from good independent bookshops.