Review by Areej Tahir -- Illustrated Short Fiction of Wi...

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Areej Tahir
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Review by Areej Tahir -- Illustrated Short Fiction of Wi...

Post by Areej Tahir »

[Following is a volunteer review of "Illustrated Short Fiction of William H. Coles: 2000-2016" by William H. Coles.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Illustrated Short Fiction of William H. Coles: 2000-2016 is a compilation of thirty-three short stories, two graphic novels, and one novella. Each story is like a brief trip to a different part of the world, a different time, with a different person of a different mindset. The plot of each story is a complete, and not connected at all, yet the whole book is tied together by one theme - the bitter reality of life.

The whole book is glittered with illustrations, as the name suggests, which depict the primary idea of the plot very cleverly and very precisely. They add further beauty to each story, and the message it conveys. It was pleasantly surprising to find them and kudos to the author for including them.

Although the stories are fictional, they are not very far from the reality. Each story talks about some very important issues of our society such as unfaithful couples, addiction, racism, hidden family secrets, loss of parents, murder, and even suicide. The plot that follows, revolves around the consequences and events that unfold due to these problems.

My most favorite was Suchin's Escape, in which prostitution and human trafficking were brought into the light. Such topics are typically avoided due to their controversial nature, but Coles did not shy away from any of them. My second favorite was The Gift. In this story, a mother’s love is explored, and her disabled child navigates through the world, which does not allow anyone with an abnormality to breathe and grow.

In every story, the way of writing, dialogue delivery, the structure was complementary to the setting of the plot. However, the stories were lacking the element of intensity and there was no build-up of emotions for me to attach to the characters or root for someone’s future. My least favorite was The Stonecutter. I could not find the purpose or the message of the story.

As for the graphic novels, they could’ve received better attention and more appreciation if they were not at the end of the book. The short stories were remarkably strong, and thus expectations with the graphic novels were very high. In simpler words, the graphic novels, even the novella, were overshadowed by the stories that preceded them.

Therefore, I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars, taking one star away for the reasons mentioned above. The book was professionally edited. This book contains profanity, and some explicit scenes, therefore I find it inappropriate for anyone under 18. The nature of the topics is unsuitable for anyone seeking a light read.

Illustrated Short Fiction of William H. Coles: 2000-2016
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Post by Mbrooks2518 »

This sounds like a great collection stories. I may have to give it a try. Thanks for the great review!

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Post by Laura Lee »

Hmmm. This sounds like a really well-crafted book. I like the idea of having an over-arching theme for the short stories and novellas. I've never heard of a compilation of short stories by the same author doing that. Kudos to you for picking up on the theme. I enjoyed your analysis. Thanks for the review!
Laura Lee

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Post by unamilagra »

This sounds like a really interesting collection. I don't think I've ever seen graphic novels included with other genres in one book before. It's too bad the author wasn't able to inspire you to care about his characters. I often find this to be true in short stories. Thank you for an insightful review!

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Post by Jyockel08 »

Sounds like a very different kind of book. I like your review and how you summarize the concept so well. I might have to give this one a try. Great review!

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Post by sanjus »

Thirty-three short stories, two graphic novels, and a novella. Each one unique, at different mindset and with a different person of a different mindset appears like a wonderful compilation. Your review gave a good idea about that.
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Post by Juliet+1 »

I usually enjoy short story collections, but this one may be a bit too somber to read without a few breaks. Thanks for a great review! :D

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Post by Julius_ »

I like that the book in includes illustrations that assist in plot development. Thanks for the review.
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