As a whole, I didn’t think this was a great collection – too many of the stories have interesting set-ups but Woodward doesn’t do enough with them. Plus, the title of the book means lots of visitors pick the book off the shelf, expecting it to be about lego, then quickly return it when they find it is ‘only’ short stories. Grr…

However, I thought ‘The Family Whistle’ was fantastic. It gives us what is, as you say, a familiar scene, but then gives us a new twist. I think it is fairly easy early on in the story to predict which is the real Wilhelm, but the story then becomes about the conflicting emotions – we are unsure whether Florian should do the right thing, and we are unsure what the right thing is.

Having just re-read it, I did find the ending quite abrupt. But to me, this makes it more poignant – the defeat is so sudden, and accepted so graciously.

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