Quick and Quirky: Short Stories with Quips! by Fred Onymouse and Ann Onymouse
|Quick and Quirky: Short Stories with Quips! by Fred Onymouse and Ann Onymouse|
|Category: Short Stories|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: Come here for simple but unexpected scenarios that you don't get elsewhere in short story publishing – then see very little come from them.|
|Buy? No||Borrow? Maybe|
|Pages: 128||Date: November 2017|
Quick, and indeed, quirky, are positive attributes, I'm sure you'd agree – apart from perhaps in surgeons. I like things that have a quirk, and I approve of the quicky. I've been dabbling in the world of creative writing for a few years now, and whenever anyone asks what it is I mostly write, I define it with the catch-all safety net of flippant. So this book should be right up my street, being as it is a bijou selection of illustrated and fairly large-print short stories.
Well, you can tell what I'm going to say next. Or perhaps you can't – the book feels like one extended non sequitur, and having read it I'm a little frazzled as to what should follow what. One example of that is 'Holiday Elephants'. It seems to be based on a family phrase, or something, and features two people amongst a coach party in the south west. I don't know where to begin with this story – should I do so by saying the piece gives us their itinerary then misses out a whole day? Should I start with the flippant way in which one bad thing happens, then another, then another? Or should it be that it ends with the author interrupting, to say something like 'well, would you ever?!' and moving on to the next story without a by your leave?
I could pick at this til the cows come home – why do the first two stories mention tunnelling? Where do these industrious police work, for bizarre crimes seem ten a penny? Just what authorities are they that speak out against a blind painter, and should we all follow the career of a race-horse owner as itemised here?
The fact remains the book has some wonderful set-ups, that leave the ordinary behind – it's just what comes after, or doesn't, that's the problem. A couple of women have a collection of valuable buttons; one work is about a magician who has his gear stolen at the height of his fame; one has a man who won a council election by a single vote, and seems to have God on his side. That last is definitely worth mentioning for the heinous way it posits a more than decent scenario, but manages to do so little with it.
Finally, I would defy anyone to fall in love with the story regarding a bingo hall. It has the wrong prizes, until they revert to cash, it has fire damage, it has an intruder, then more – then the moral, a risible platitude that's supposed to justify the whole thing, is forced at us in capital letters. AND I'M NOT BEING FUNNY shouts the author – no, my anonymous friend, you are not.
I still thank the publishers for my review copy.
You'll like as not enjoy Fifteen Minutes by Erinna Mettler for short stories that bring the celebrity world into collision with ours.
You can read more book reviews or buy Quick and Quirky: Short Stories with Quips! by Fred Onymouse and Ann Onymouse at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Quick and Quirky: Short Stories with Quips! by Fred Onymouse and Ann Onymouse at Amazon.com.
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