Review by Lynsyn -- Illustrated Short Fiction of William...

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Review by Lynsyn -- Illustrated Short Fiction of William...

Post by Lynsyn » 31 May 2018, 23:12

[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 by William H. Coles: 2000 – 2016 was made in the span of 16 years, as suggested by the title. Rather than saying that this is a novel, it contains a collection of short stories, two graphic novels that were adapted from the one of those short stories, and a short novella at the end of the book. From my perspective, all these content shares one central theme, and it is all about life. The hardships and challenges of it, the hopes and dreams that the characters contain in each selection, and the reality of their circumstances and how they deal with it – or not.

What I like least about the book were the graphic novels. The art style wasn’t really that bad and at the very least, you can still tolerate looking at it. But what I really hate the most was the organization and the sequence of the story. You can barely understand a thing if those two graphic novels weren’t adapted from the short stories themselves. There were no proper transitions from one scene to the next and not everything written in the short stories were actually shown in the graphics novel, which make it seems like there was a sudden jump that makes me somewhat confused even if I’ve read the stories beforehand. There were also a few minor typos in the book like from “hadto” that it should have been to “had to”, but it didn’t really bother me that much.

I like it how the characters in each selection are varied, and most of all, how they are properly fleshed out as if they are truly human beings put in a fictional book rather than just characters painted out just for the book. Each character that was introduced in the story all had an important part to play, even the characters who were seemingly just background characters turned out to be important characters in the near future. I can see that each character is given a role in their story, and depending on them, it greatly affects the decisions of the main characters or not.

What I am most impressed about in this book is the central theme, and how the author depicted it both to the characters and me, the reader, that life would never be easy even if it seems easy just for a moment. There is a thin line between good and evil. Every decision the character would make always have a cause and effect. Even if the character would make a good decision, there is no guarantee that the effect would be the same later on. Sometimes, even doing the good things can make you regret your decision, even the little things.

With all that being said, I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. The short stories were quite entertaining, giving you a lot of mixed emotions as you go through each short story. The only downfall is that the graphics novel in the book is not quite understandable and the only way to understand it would be to read the short story first. One last flaw would be the cover page, simply because it looks dull and that the fonts that were used for the title does not really look compatible with each other. Overall, I recommend this to anyone who wants to read something a little deep about the struggles of human life.

Illustrated Short Fiction of William H. Coles: 2000-2016
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Post by kandscreeley » 01 Jun 2018, 08:26

I've seen several reviews on this one. I've read other works by him as well. This sounds like one that I should definitely at least try, but my to read list is overflowing at the moment! Thanks for your thoughts on this one.
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― Ernest Hemingway

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Post by CommMayo » 03 Jun 2018, 10:49

Based on your review, I'm actually surprised that you rated it as high as three stars. Coles seems to divide people into camps of those who really like his work and those who don't.

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