Review by Taylornic98 -- Illustrated Short Fiction of Wi...

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Taylornic98
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Review by Taylornic98 -- Illustrated Short Fiction of Wi...

Post by Taylornic98 » 09 May 2018, 12:44

[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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Illustrated Short Fiction of William H. Coles is truly a fiction lover’s dream. Coles is a master story-teller who takes the reader on a rollercoaster ride of characters, scenarios, and emotions. Though most stories are extremely short, they are written with such passion and thoroughness you cannot help but feeling connected with each work. I admire the way no two stories are the same, each presenting a new mini adventure for the reader.

One of my favorite short stories from the book is titled “Big Gene.” This work of fiction is about an African American man who befriends an unlikely individual while playing piano at a truck stop. This story is set in the ‘70s, where racial tensions still ran high among blacks and whites, which causes quite a stir around Big Gene’s new friendship. Though he is now looked down upon by many, through patience and kindness Big Gene uses this relationship to show the progress being made between the two races. Big Gene’s attitude throughout the story is what I believe made me admire this particular work. He did what he thought was right and did not let societal pressures affect his outlook on how he should be conducting his life nor influence his relationships with certain people.

Another personal favorite of mine is entitled “The Amish Girl.” A short love story that brings together forbidden lovers, then tears them apart. Peter, a university student, meets and falls in love with a mysterious Amish girl, Hannah, during a dull summer semester. After convincing her to leave her family for a few days of freedom, he confesses his love for her. Soon after returning her to her family, Peter learns from her mother that due to Peter and Hannah’s forbidden relationship, Hannah has been sent away. So, Peter begins his search for his lost love, but will they ever reunite?

These are just a few of many of the creative stories in this wonderfully written book. I rate Illustrated Short Fiction of William H. Coles a 3 out of 4 stars. I would have no problem rating it a 4, as it is one of the best collections of short stories I have ever read, but there were a few minor grammatical errors. These mistakes, however, are rare and will not obstruct the readers understanding nor take away from the overall momentum of the stories in which they occur.

In my opinion, recommending this book to any one, particular audience is difficult because it contains material for any and all readers. The content, however is geared toward a more mature audience as the subject matter and underlying tones of some stories have deeper meanings that some young minds might not quite comprehend.

All-in-all, this book quickly became a new favorite for me. I highly recommend it to anyone looking to expand their minds or anyone simply looking for a great story or stories. The vivid characters are beautifully described and easily visualized and understood. Each scenario is so unique and captivating it makes the book hard to put down. This was my first book read from this site and it has me looking forward to reading more of Cole’s work.

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Illustrated Short Fiction of William H. Coles: 2000-2016
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TrishaD14
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Post by TrishaD14 » 11 May 2018, 10:19

This review is well written and expresses a clear passion for reading. Coles sounds like an author I would be interested in reading, thanks to this review!

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inaramid
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Post by inaramid » 11 May 2018, 10:20

It's nice to see that you enjoyed the book too. This was my introduction to Coles' work as well, and I truly admire his writing style. I enjoyed your picks. Those two stories were good, but then almost all stories in the collection were of the same caliber. :)

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kfwilson6
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Post by kfwilson6 » 11 May 2018, 11:52

This is a great first review! I have never reviewed a collection of short stories (not really a fan), but I think it would be one of the more challenging things to review. I have read the first story twice and really liked it, until the end. I felt like he had to wrap up the story quickly and it felt so rushed. I wanted to know more about what happened with the characters beyond his very hurried ending to their story. That's why I'm not a fan of short stories. I think they are most often meant to convey a lesson rather than provide a good plot or well-developed characters. I just can't read stories for a lesson alone. I'm glad you really enjoyed it though. I have seen some of his other work on this site, so I'm sure you won't have any trouble finding more of his writing to delve into.

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Taylornic98
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Post by Taylornic98 » 11 May 2018, 21:04

Yes, the short stories were a bit of a challenge to review as a whole because of the continuously changing plots and tones. I do enjoy the way most of them end abruptly, leaving the reader to interpret or predict what may or may not happen next.

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BriP123
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Post by BriP123 » 15 May 2018, 17:24

This is a great first review! I will for sure be checking this book out! There were a few grammatical mistakes, but other than that, nice job. I am new to this site, but think it will be a great fit for me. I look forward to reading more of your reviews.

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Post by Sen_Suzumiya » 01 Sep 2018, 19:25

I also loved "the Amish girl"! "the Necklace" was also very sweet and beautiful. Thank you for your wonderful review, I totally agree with you.
“All the secrets of the world are contained in books. Read at your own risk.”
― Lemony Snicket

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