be stitched together with a rusty needle and a loose thread

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Senior Member
Hi, the following excerpt comes from an interview with a British author.

Q: You mainly write short stories and novellas. "The Case", although it has the same protagonist throughout the book, reads like a series of short stories. Do you prefer shorter forms of fiction to longer novels, or is it only a question of time before you write a longer work?

A: I started writing via Six Sentences- tell a story in six sentences – and the stories got longer, so a novel is probably on the horizon. "The Case" is indeed a series of short stories that I did for a now defunct Italian publisher but they’re stitched together with a rusty needle and a loose thread.

Could you tell me how you understand the part in bold? The publisher doesn't operate anymore (defunct) but it's stitched together? Are they intending to reopen soon or something like this?
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    English - England
    They refers to the collection of short stories.

    Now imagine that you must sew two pieces of cloth together in order to make one piece of cloth. If you do it with a rusty needle and a loose thread, what do you think that the result will be?

    (Bear in mind that with a rusty needle and a loose an adverbial phrase.):)
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