4 out of 4 stars
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Illustrated Short Fiction of William H. Coles: 2000-2016, is a collection of thirty-six short stories. These range from inspirational and unbelievable, to every-day people you feel you've met before. At the beginning of each story, is a beautiful illustration. Each story is well crafted and can stand on its own feet. A marvelous and diverse choice of stories that alone on your bookshelf, you would have a fine collection. Each story already has its own cover!
The book begins with 'The Gift' I felt immediately enveloped by the richly created environments. The story begins in 1959 with Catherine, who is faced with a life-changing event. An event that she faces with an amazing attitude. We are then introduced to a wide variety of characters. The stories feel more like meeting new people at a dinner party, then to read just a few chosen ideas. In 'The Necklace', you find a story that will make you angry with the careless actions towards a loved one. Then at the same time it celebrates love with characters that cherish each other. In Red Dog we meet an inmate who finds peace and forgiveness. There are truly fantastic stories, these ones just stuck with me. The characters and their times range widely but suit perfectly. I did at times feel disappointed in some of the endings. Having said that, the fact that it does so, is what lends realism. The book ends with two graphic novels and a novella. The graphic novels unexpectedly enrich the written stories.
From the first pages it's abundantly clear, why William H. Coles has been awarded for his short stories. The author has the art of making emotions felt, to be real. I couldn't help reacting strongly to the stories and their endings. I appreciated not knowing what moment captured, would end the story I was on.
The writing is a fine example of well edited work. The characters are deeply defined in a masterful way. In moments a character's personality is obvious. This makes for easily imagined people in locations that seem authentic. At times I had to remind myself that this was fiction. It seemed like real events, times and experiences. I most certainly rate this book 4 out of 4 stars
Fans of stories told from the first person perspective, are in for a treat. Also it felt like the writing style of an old-fashioned detective story. Combined with the Intrigue around every corner, fans of mystery would enjoy this read.
Illustrated Short Fiction of William H. Coles: 2000-2016
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