Thursday, 28 January 2016
Unthology 8 - Edited by Ashley Stokes and Robin Jones
The "introduction" has a subtitle of "How To Unthology" and a most interesting piece it is. It is an extract of a talk that Ashley Stokes gave the London Short Story Festival. If you read it you will understand what you need to do to attract the attention of the editors to get your short story included. But, more importantly, if readers haven't Unthologised in the past then they will get a better understanding of why they should and what they have missed out on.
The collection commences with a fictionalised and shortened extract from the life of Edvard Munch and while I enjoyed this and was moved by parts of it It did sort of feel different to the normal selection.
We then move on to "Bye Bye Ben Ali" - a story of a deluded dictator which was extremely amusing and I did wonder, a few times, if the "dictator" was just a normal although deluded person.
With The Sculptor we start a series of short stories that follow relationships progressively from merely wondering "what if" and going further forward (or backward) through the relationship life cycle and how people can be stupid enough to throw themselves on the rocks for no good reason. My very favourite in this group has to be 10,000 Tiny Pieces.
Not Drowning But Saving is a fascinating concept and while it has been taken to a ridiculous extreme (hasn't it?) it is a story that carries more than a grain of truth - well worth a read for it's own sake. Lines In The Sand had a surprise in store - as do most short stories - but one that would make you pause and think...
As Understood By Women returned to the relationship theme but put a slant on it that was an interesting observation.
And finally.. A Beautiful Noise - an ageing music agent/promoter/publicist takes a nostalgic trip to a gig but his interpretation of people takes us back to The Sculptor.
Another excellent selection of stories by these master editors - but let's not forget that they are also selecting excellent authors work - that takes the reader on a journey across life. And in this case the "life" could be the reader's own.
I found this perhaps the most addictive Unthology yet and may yet have to join Unthologyholics Anonymous.
I have read the previous 5 books in the Unthology collection and you can read their reviews here:- Unthology 3, Unthology 4, Unthology 5, Unthology 6, Unthology 7
Publisher - Unthank Books
Genre - Adult short story anthology