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[Following is a volunteer review of "Illustrated Short Fiction of William H. Coles: 2000-2016" by William H. Coles.]
[rbc=4]id239520-125[/rbc]The moment I have read the first of the
[i]Illustrated Short Fiction of William H. Coles 2000-2016[/i], I was certain that I will be hooked. I was always intrigued by the opening lines and before I knew it, I was already halfway through the ending. The author has this ability to capture the reader's attention and make them want to find out what is going to happen next.
One of the author's obvious strengths is how he precisely yet artfully presents his characters in a psychological light. Each character is created complex and they are never what they seem. It appears that the author can understand the complex human psyche so well that he was able to cleverly show the real motives behind his characters' outward show. That, perhaps, is what makes his characters relatable. We, humans, tend to create a shell that is the total opposite of what is inside and our actions are based on protecting that inner self and that we can turn dark if we are exposed to so much pain.
The collection also delve with ethics and morality—how our right and wrong actions can affect ourselves and other people. Most of the stories are dark and leave you with a bitter taste. But I think it is what makes the stories cathartic. It makes us realize and accept that life has dark sides too and that it can make an ugly turn anytime. But some stories tackle the innate goodness of human beings—although life may seem bleak and horrible sometimes, people can still be capable of goodness.
I find all of the short stories enjoyable although I noticed that some are straightforward and blunt. I would appreciate them more if they were written with subtlety. I did not enjoy the comics as much also because it seems that a lot of important details are left out. Had I not read the short stories beforehand, I don't think I would be able to fully understand the comics.
Despite the foregoing, I would still give this
[b]4 out of 4 stars[/b]. I love how the stories provide an accurate portrayal of life and how it made me think about issues on morality and human psychology. Rarely do I encounter a book that makes me fascinated and bothered at the same time. This would appeal to readers who are interested in short stories that have strong philosophical and psychological elements in it.
******Illustrated Short Fiction of William H. Coles: 2000-2016
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I also read the book and I really liked it. Especially the fact that much darker stories were included. Thanks for the review!
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Lol, I do not think the 4-star rating is well deserved. Most of the stories lack distinct ethical lessons. The absence of dialogue tags makes it difficult to comprehend. It's like I'm just reading an article, probably a news headline, and I'm given updates on what's happening. There's no suspense, thrill, the pdf format makes the wordings so tiny. I beg to differ on your review, if I may and please don't be offended
The author needs to recognize that he has flaws in his book and the only way for that to happen is if we give honest reviews. I am currently working on mine.