4 out of 4 stars
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Illustrated Short Fiction of William H. Coles 2000-2016 by WILLIAM H. COLES is an artistic combination of art and words. The book encompasses stories concerning people and their lives. It trudges a neat path along the border of life and devilry. One of the most characteristic appeals of the book is its ability to navigate a story out into myriad, mysterious dimensions. William H Coles is a magician with expertise in characterization.
Each story in the collection revels in its description of places, situations and thoughts. Even in a short space of a few pages, he can carve out a story with people whose lives seem so normal and real. He captures us in a trap that rattles our heart and holds the breath until the end. The characters in the stories are people of the world, in search of elusive love, most of whom we have met in our journeys too but never bothered to look.
The stories are of the common people, those who have survived challenges. While we begin to sympathize with some, there are many we can despise and yet so many to fear - the spectrum of human possibilities seem complete. The short novel at the end is a complete story breaking many barriers of relationships, religion, law, and gender. Evil designs, suspense, and strange outcomes form rhetoric throughout that leaves us in disbelief.
An artist’s sketch preludes each story. It is even more interesting to go over the painting after reading through the story. That painting can speak so much of a plot and a story that can be woven around the painting is all about artistic expression. Recreation of two short stories into graphic novels again at the end of the book is testimony to this visual-verbal symbiosis. The collection begins with a short story and ends with a short novel both dealing with tenacity. That both these speak of strong women may not be incidental. Women are treated kindly and unfairly at times, but their inner strength for survival is yet another paradigm the stories tell us. This is an aspect of the book that appealed to me the most.
The stories are real, the characters could be you or me, the plot is everywhere out there among the rich, the common and even the downtrodden. They are graphic enough for us to visualize the emotions in each of the characters and the scenes of the plots. I rate this book 4 out of 4. This book provides us with varying definitions of victory. There is nothing that I disliked or felt should have been different and hence, I recommend this book to all readers of all ages and interests.
Illustrated Short Fiction of William H. Coles: 2000-2016
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