3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
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
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon | on iTunes | on Smashwords