Official Review: Texaners: Eight Short Stories

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Jesska6029
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Official Review: Texaners: Eight Short Stories

Post by Jesska6029 » 13 Nov 2015, 13:05

[Following is the official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Texaners: Eight Short Stories" by T. F. Rhoden.]
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2 out of 4 stars
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Texaners: Eight Short Stories by T. F. Rhoden is a collection of short stories in the fiction genre.

The eight short stories that make up Texaners take readers into the lives of 8 different people living in Texas. At the center of each story are characters of different races and ethnic backgrounds, and each story gives readers momentary glimpses into the struggles each character faces.

This book was a bit difficult to read at times. Instead of having quotation marks around dialogue, the author uses dashes, which confused me greatly at times. It was really difficult to get comfortable with the odd dialogue. A lot of the sentences are convoluted and awkward. For example, “When the trailer-park matriarch leant down to proffer womanly anodyne to her blubbering snot-bedight kin, an ass crack as unblanketed as the Rio Grande Valley that separates Texas from Mexico broke free from her neon pink—hot, hyper hot pink—sweats” took me a couple tries to read through without confusion.

If you are someone who needs a resolution at the end of a book or story, then this collection of short stories is not for you. These stories only provide readers with small glimpses into the lives of 8 different characters. I did find the lack of resolution frustrating at first, but I appreciated it more when I realizes the point of the stories is only to provide an insight into small moments of the characters lives, not to provide resolutions.

It was a bit difficult to connect to any of the characters because their stories are so short, but I did enjoy Cindy’s narrative in “Chinese Spoons”, and I think the author captured the struggle of a family under certain restraints in “Oils”. However, it was extremely difficult to connect to anyone in “The Gulf” because the story was so short and a bit boring.

There are quite a few spelling and grammatical errors. For example the text reads, “good dead”, not “good deed” and “processor”, not “professor”. It would be a good idea to revise and edit this book if at all possible, so these errors aren’t there to distract readers.

I give Texaners: Eight Short Stories by T. F. Rhoden 2 out of 4 stars. Some of the stories in this collection are interesting, but the convoluted sentences and spelling errors keep me from giving this book a higher rating. I would recommend this book to readers who don’t mind stories without resolutions.

******
Texaners: Eight Short Stories
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Post by gali » 21 Nov 2015, 06:50

Thank you for the insightful review. I prefer stories with resolutions, so I guess this book isn't for me.
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

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Post by Rachaelamb1 » 22 Nov 2015, 12:05

I was hoping this would be a good book because I am a "Texaner" and we Texans definitely love to read about ourselves :) Judging from the example you gave of that confusing sentence, I do not think I would enjoy reading this book. Thanks for the review!

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Post by Jesska6029 » 23 Nov 2015, 05:44

gali wrote:Thank you for the insightful review. I prefer stories with resolutions, so I guess this book isn't for me.
Thanks for the kind words. It's definitely not for everyone!

-- 23 Nov 2015, 05:45 --
Rachaelamb1 wrote:I was hoping this would be a good book because I am a "Texaner" and we Texans definitely love to read about ourselves :) Judging from the example you gave of that confusing sentence, I do not think I would enjoy reading this book. Thanks for the review!
Haha, I think everyone feels that bit of pride when one's hometown or state is mentioned in literature! Thanks for the kind words!
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Post by Cee-Jay Aurinko » 23 Nov 2015, 06:18

Great review, Jesska6029! I'm glad you connected to at least one of the stories.
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Post by Jesska6029 » 23 Nov 2015, 07:48

Leon Durham wrote:Great review, Jesska6029! I'm glad you connected to at least one of the stories.
Thanks!! A couple of the stories are truly interesting!
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Post by bookowlie » 23 Nov 2015, 10:36

Nice review! I am glad you enjoyed some of the stories. I am not a big fan of short stories, but I do like books with a strong setting. Whenever I think of Texas, I think "Go Big or go home". :)
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Post by chytach18- » 23 Nov 2015, 12:55

“When the trailer-park matriarch leant down to proffer womanly anodyne to her blubbering snot-bedight kin, an ass crack as unblanketed as the Rio Grande Valley that separates Texas from Mexico broke free from her neon pink—hot, hyper hot pink—sweats”. My goodness, what is this? I really feel for you, Jesska! On the other hand, I like the stories with no resolution but only if the story itself is good, complex and inviting the readers to resolve the story as they wish.

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Post by kimmyschemy06 » 07 Dec 2015, 08:16

I love books with resolutions. They make me feel good about the book I read. I guess this is not for me. Great review!

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Post by LivreAmour217 » 09 Dec 2015, 13:45

Excellent review, but too bad that the same cannot be said for the book! I lived in Texas for eight years and I am completely in love with that state, so I was initially excited when I saw the title. Oh, well!
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Post by dwc » 30 Dec 2015, 09:31

Jesska6029 wrote: This book was a bit difficult to read at times. Instead of having quotation marks around dialogue, the author uses dashes, which confused me greatly at times. It was really difficult to get comfortable with the odd dialogue. A lot of the sentences are convoluted and awkward. For example, “When the trailer-park matriarch leant down to proffer womanly anodyne to her blubbering snot-bedight kin, an ass crack as unblanketed as the Rio Grande Valley that separates Texas from Mexico broke free from her neon pink—hot, hyper hot pink—sweats” took me a couple tries to read through without confusion. [/i]

It sounds like the writer was experimenting with the narrative or attempting to write what they thought was a higher level of literacy. I have no problem with unusual words, but if I need a dictionary to read a book, then that is too much.

Also, I enjoy stories without a definite ending. Ray Carver is one of my favorites and most of his stories have indefinite endings for the reader to decide what happens next.

I might give this book a shot, knowing what to expect.

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Post by Amheiser » 24 May 2016, 12:51

This seems like it would be an interesting book even though it may be a little difficult to read. The example given about the neon pants seems like the author was trying to be extra descriptive, which can be very distracting when you are trying to follow a story, but I did get a very good picture in my mind of the scene. I think I would like to try reading this book just to see what the author has to say about different Texans. I know some people who are from Texas and it sounds like the book would give the reader a good idea of what life is like there for them. This is a good, informative review!

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Post by Jaime Lync » 19 May 2017, 13:46

Thanks for the insightful review. I prefer resolutions at the end of the stories so I guess I'm not going to read this.

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Post by Roggyrus » 06 Jan 2018, 07:55

Your review could be called honest and descriptive of the story. Although I admit, your revelations would not augur well for the story, yet I am thankful I am forewarned about what to expect. And yet, curiosity might still get the better of me and make me read the book. Thanks for your review.

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