- File Size: 362 KB
- Print Length: 164 pages
- Publisher: Sorted Publishing (November 15, 2013)
- Publication Date: November 15, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00GPYLC16
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,492 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$2.99|
|Print List Price:||$7.99|
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Also, this author has a knack for humor, which I've previously enjoyed, however this go-round, I think I was wanting humor but got serious subject matter. This is my fault for expecting something other than what was written in the description.
I will read more by Sortwell, but this one just didn't hit me as well as his others.
For a writer of humor, Sortwell's stories deal with some very serious material. Almost every one of them concerns crime, death, or addiction in some way, and most of them would be more at home in a mystery anthology than a book of humor. Since the stories are very short, under ten pages each, they need to grab the reader's attention quickly and make their point (often in a surprise ending) to be effective. This is where the extensive use of slang will make the book a difficult read, and a more difficult enjoy, for U.S. readers. Having to decipher one paragraph after another to try to figure out just what Sortwell is saying destroys the timing needed to make these stories effective.
To be fair, a couple of the stories worked quite well for me, especially "One Flew Over the Policeman's Bonnet," in which a retiring policeman decides to commit a murder before he leaves the job. As you might expect, things don't work out as he intended. Another good story is "So Low So High," in which a man threatens to jump off the roof of a medical building if he doesn't get better treatment.
Another point I think I should make is that the ten stories take up about 40% of the book, which is about 100 pages total. I'm generally critical of "books" that contain mostly excerpts from the author's other books, but, since most of Shotwell writes are humorous essays, the excerpt can be appreciated on their own, unlike the first couple of chapters of a dramatic literary novel. Unfortunately, there's just as much slang in these excerpts, which are just as difficult for American readers to follow. And, since humor is highly dependant on timing, the delay involved in trying to figure out what Sortwell is saying makes it hard to find any laughs, or even grins, in the material.
I suspect that British readers will find this material much easier to follow than I did and may find the material more enjoyable as a result. I can only base my review on my own take of the material, and a lot of it was hard to for me to digest because of the heavy slang. I can't recommend a book that I found more a chore to comprehend than an amusement.