- File Size: 630 KB
- Print Length: 140 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1925536092
- Publisher: Truth Serum Press (August 8, 2016)
- Publication Date: August 8, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01KGCJD1I
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,848,755 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$4.99|
|Print List Price:||$12.00|
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Rain Check Kindle Edition
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"Chasing Shadows" by Catherine Bybee
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What can I say? Much like a talented artist uses brushes and paint to create works of enduring art, so, too, does this author skillfully use just the right words and just the right phrases to create enduring memorable images. The writing isn't stuffy and pedantic, and the author doesn't use words meant to impress readers with his great knowledge and vast vocabulary. Instead, he manages to elevate simple ordinary words into the extraordinary, and illuminates universal truths through simple ordinary experiences and observations.
Many thanks to the lovely author Guilie Castillo Oriard for recommending this little gem to me. This is the first I've read of Mr. Noe's work, but I hope it won't be the last.
Flash fiction often requires more of the reader, making them fill in the gaps with their imaginings. For example, the words “For Sale, Baby Shoes, Never Worn” have been attributed (probably incorrectly) to Hemingway, as the legend goes it was his response to a challenge to write the shortest story possible. That story requires you to fill in some gaps, but has everything you might expect in a story including one or more characters (we could imply a baby and someone, possibly a parent selling the shoes), some conflict (why were the shoes never worn?), and a setting implied. There is a plot, even if largely implied as well as a theme (maybe something about the fickleness of life). Google “elements of a story” and you'll find numerous places listing these five elements and an explanation of each.
All of the above is background to understand my one complaint with the collection, or at least a portion of it. (Yeah, I know, I need to learn to use less words, too.) My problem is that some of the stories in the first section (“On Time and Place”) didn't feel like there was a story there. I'm a fan of travel memoirs and in many instances the “stories” I'm talking about seem like a snippet from something like that. These have an evocative setting, a character in whoever is describing it, but I couldn't see the story. The note I made after several of these were the stories “were all spice, with no meat.”
I only had that issue in the first of the three sections and not even with all the stories in that section. Although I liked some stories better than others I found the stories much more compelling as I got deeper into the collection. All the elements were there or I did a better job at filling in the gaps, I'm not sure which.
**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. **
Actual Rating: 4
This was great! As someone who's always been more drawn to writing short stories and flash fiction instead of full-out novels, I always had trouble finding these types of compilations that were able to remain consistent throughout.
Noe has the rare ability balance humor and seriousness within his stories. The writing style, therefore, is definitely one of the strongest aspects of this book. The writing is so easy to fall in love with, and the best thing of all is that we get to see Noe's wide range of talent through the different type of pieces this book contains.
There are stories that are more tangible, that read like regular short stories, and although I did enjoy the depth in those, I connected more with the stories that were more abstract, such as the personifications of the heart or the brain. I absolutely loved these, and I felt like everything was simply so beautifully written.
I think personally I was so drawn to these abstracted pieces because they are similar to my own writing style. When the characters are unnamed or are intangible, I feel like I can connect much more, because I can truly insert myself into the story without the interruptions of characters that seemed to have set identities. In these pieces, I felt like the stories seemed much more grounded and predictable, because many writings out there are similar; on the other hand, the abstract pieces seemed much more unique and relatable. Of course, there are always exceptions, and I do understand why characters are needed, but I very much enjoyed the abstract pieces of flash fiction, especially because the style is not one that is typically seen.
I think some of my favorites were "Self-Made Secret Agent", "Writers Make Terrible Partners", "Unrequited Love of the Self", "Welcome Back", "Waking Life", "Corpus Corvidae", "Angels", "The Heart's Back Door", "The Mind", "Occupied", and "Broken Wishbones". That was such a long list, but be sure to watch of for those when you read Rain Check!