Review by damis -- Illustrated Short Fiction of William ...

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Latest Review: Illustrated Short Fiction of William H. Coles: 2000-2016 by William H. Coles

Review by damis -- Illustrated Short Fiction of William ...

Post by damis »

[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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I like to think about life as a succession of short stories where we get to be the main character. Sadly, not all of them have a happy ending, and sometimes, they look more like a horror story than a fairytale. I dare to say that the Illustrated Short Fiction of William H. Coles 2000-2016 displays that beautifully.

In the book, we get to enjoy 33 short stories, two graphic novels, and a novella written by William H. Coles. All of them creating a collection of slice-of-life scenes. I admit the narrative and the descriptions were on point. Reading it made me feel like peeking through someone's window. And just like it should happen when someone falls into the temptation of eavesdropping, I discovered things I could have lived without knowing.

If I had to pick just one, "Suchin's Escape" was my favorite one. It is not the most pleasant of the stories, but there was something about the honesty of the story, that made me feel like finding a diamond in a mud-pool. It did a good job reminding me that kindness and compassion can be found even in the most violent places.

The book is far from being perfect, though. Some of the stories gave me an incomplete vibe. Not the typical open ending, leaving something for the reader to think about, but an abrupt closure. It was like finding out the last page is missing, and never getting to know how it ends. The illustrations were on point, but I would have liked to see more of them. Especially in the short stories, they were more an individual cover than actual illustrations for the story.

As for the editorial work, it could be improved. The errors I found were not bad enough to distract me from reading, but they were somewhat constant, and it wouldn't be fair if I ignored them. That's why I'll rate the book three out of four stars.

I recommend this book for readers that enjoy raw reality. Flawed characters, with human emotions, far from perfection like the rest of us. However, there's an endless list of triggers worth mentioning before picking up the book. In the stories, I found pregnancy at a young age, abortion, single parenthood, views on premarital sex, congenital issues in babies, taboo relationships, kidnapping, violent and explicit sexual descriptions, death, medical negligence, prostitution, sexism, extreme poverty, and terminal illness. And I'm just talking about the ones on top of my head. Those stories are not meant to be for minors or sensitive people. I also found a biblical verse in one of the stories. If using the Bible for that kind of story bothers you, it would be a good idea to skip the book.

Illustrated Short Fiction of William H. Coles: 2000-2016
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Post by MsH2k »

damis wrote:
27 Jul 2020, 22:17
And just like it should happen when someone falls into the temptation of eavesdropping, I discovered things I could have lived without knowing.

That’s quite the list of topics covered in this book! I consider myself forewarned, and I’m going to go for it! Thank you for a great review.

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Post by TADSAILS »

A collection of different stories must be beautiful, but as the book almost tempted you to do certain things I am not comfortable with I think I would pass. Nice review

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Post by Vic Chimezie »

Very engaging and informative review. But I think it would be overwhelming for me due to many stories in it. Thanks for the recommendation.

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Post by gabrielletiemi »

This book sounds very good. I enjoy short stories like this book contains. Your review really caught my attention. Thanks!

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Post by AvidBibliophile »

Life is most definitely a successive parade of celebratory short stories and sometimes disturbing novellas. Thank you for sharing your detailed and honest impressions of this one!

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Post by Chickenwings00 »

This is a well-detailed book. I think it will be enjoyed by everyone. The concept is good, the writing is also straightforward. Good review also.

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Post by Honest-reviewer »

The author has done. A brilliant job with this collection. Great review!

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Post by sanjus »

Thanks for your insightful nicely written review which gave me idea that this book contains 33 short stories, two graphic novels, and a novella. Suchin's Escape seems to be an interesting story among them. Hope to read it soon.
life is only knowing the unknown, we can do this by reading books easily- I believe this is my own quote. If someone quoted this before I am glad to know.

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Post by Ellylion »

A heavy read for sure, but I still loved many of the stories presented in the book :) Thank you for this insightful review!

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Post by Tomah »

I like short stories, so this book could be right up my alley. Thanks for the review!

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