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One Sixth of a Gill: a collection Kindle Edition
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|Length: 156 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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I love when stories don't end the way you expect, and I even more enjoy when you don't understand the story completely until the last line or two. Jean is a master of this.
I certainly plan to seek out more of her work as I am sure I will be surprised and delighted by the tales.
I can definitely see why this compilation of pieces was named a finalist in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards. The short pieces add such a nice variety and makes this an enjoyable and easy read.
This collection is so deliciously diverse I’m hard pushed to label only one as a favorite. The Dog Who Cries Wolf for its nursery rhyme farmyard. A patou that knows the very worst of dangers and is a great white best friend. Going To The Dogs is so clever I had to read it twice. A story of vanity, outdoing many of the Struwwelpeter stories I once dared myself to read. But anything remotely ‘dog’ is a sure hit for me and this book is full of them. The Five Pillars, Lou’s Story, so many more scrummy canine treats and Aperitifs.
Divided By A Common Language had me in stitches. I can definitely resonate with this―with a smile and a wince now and then. You Don’t Bring Me Flowers, deep and personal, where a bunch of daffodils is not the only thing that comes between two people. You can’t help but sense a residue of defeat and melancholy followed by a curious surge of gratitude.
To have had the experience of reading these translations, blogs, poems and shorts stories ―L’hiver, The Photograph and The Dogs Who Walk Beside Us, to mention a few―left me feeling extraordinarily grateful for being part of such a personal journey. It’s a book to savor because each page one will bring out a myriad of emotions you never knew you had.
A French reader commented: "I came across this very peculiar book of Jean Gill. "One sixth of a Gill". I must admit I don't really understand the title. However I was curious to get acquainted with this unidentified object. Soon the word "omnibus" occurred to me and I thought it could fit.
As a book it comprises a large number of different stories but also, as a bus or a train, it conveys the reader-passenger from one stop to the next, offering glimpses of a diversity of landscapes. Some stops are incredibly brief (the short poems), others are prolonged (the blog posts for example) and leave enough time to get familiar with the scenery. Some stations are a bit weird at first sight, they take you back to the Middle Ages, others plunge you right in the middle of our everyday contemporary life (Jailbait). The journey is full of surprises. The illustrations help to grasp the singularity of each landscape. (Some are really hilarious, I liked the provençal version of the Grant Wood painting...). To match this kaleidoscopic trip, a rich, flexible style follows suit so that, by the time one reaches the terminus one feels one knows, and wants to know more of the person at the wheel. This omnibus has a talented driver."
A friend and former colleague in Switzerland loved the book. "A friend sent me a copy of One Sixth of a Gill which I read with delight over Christmas. Loved the dog stories especially and the creative poetry. Nice to be introduced to writers in this way."
A Norwegian friend was enthusiastic: "I absolutely loved the book. It was a delight to read; you never know what comes on the next page. Is it another story about her lovely dogs? Or is it a beautiful or intriguing poem? Or a great photo? For me, it was a book like none I've ever read before. Fun, funny, interesting, clever, beautiful. I especially liked the chapters on her dogs; I think any dog- or animal-lover would like those parts. My favorite poem is "Live Safe" which I think is brilliant. The translated poems from French, like "Springtime" and "Know that I" are also beautiful. But the book would not work for me without the author's blogs which ties all the very different parts of the book together into one."
A friend from Zimbabwe found it took him back to his childhood: "As kids in Africa, we developed 'felt sores' on our legs - infected dog bites. Dog-licking would heal them. Children cease to be creative and expressive as soon as they start school. The translation of Cabral's 'Drawn From Your Eyes' resonates. The first swords (and the Javanese kris) were made in part from meteoric metals... 'Not What You Think' should be a stand-alone poem in an anthology. I think I might have cracked the connecting thread. Dogs as people or vice versa..."
A friend from the Philippines wrote: "It is a book of stories, poetry, photos and surprises. The collection takes you to places that you may not have visited or where you have not been in a long while. Many of these forms you will savor, some you will remember. All will make you think or feel of new or old moments, passages of time through present, past and future. The author has succeeded in her work. Let a friend know about it."
A friend from Tanzania wrote: "I have finished the book and feel like I know Jean Gill, her dogs, her house, her husband. She is a gifted writer, particularly a gifted crafter of short stories. In this age of shortening attention spans this potpourri of poems, stories, blogs, photos and dog tales may be just the thing. One should read one item and put the book down long enough to let that be digested.
Instead, I plunged in and was hammered by the first story of the woman and her closet. I stumbled through several poems before recovering as I read about the Great Pyrenees Mountain dogs. Then a short poem about something I recognized --Mary Queen of Scots-- that was crisp and good. I should add that I do not know what I am talking about when it comes to poetry. Then "The Interview" a spot-on picture of the clammy preamble to an audition or job interview. "Going to the Dogs" was worthy of James Thurber (see the Unicorn in the Garden). More dog stories. If I was at a party and there was someone over on the right telling dog stories and someone on the left talking about the World Series, I'd go left. But she writes very well about her dogs -- I feel like I know Lou -- and I probably should go right.
To my old-fashioned tastes, it was too much of a jumble, but she does write well and she sounds like she would be great fun to know."
Most recent customer reviews
Too few authors today combine or able to combine a series of short well-chosen diverse writings blended...Read more
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