- File Size: 462 KB
- Print Length: 221 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: KY Story (January 18, 2014)
- Publication Date: January 18, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00HY0C5VG
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,874,225 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Showing 1-7 of 7 reviews
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The worst of the stories (including two by Adam Moorad that make absolutely no sense and a long rambling mess by Monique Roussel that pretends to be channeling Charles Bukowski) are placed at the start of the anthology, which makes plodding through the rest of this a daunting prospect. But several of the later installments (including "The Death of Eve" and "Bold Choices") are worth sticking around for. Jenean McBrearty's "Eve" is a clever exploration of what might happen should an ancient scroll be discovered that would shatter the traditional understanding of the Old Testament. It's sharply satiric, thoughtful, and takes an honest look at the impact of religion on the roles of men and women in our society. Ryan Priest's "Bold Choices" is a futuristic tale about a new development in law enforcement that is driving corporate executives, priests, and rabbis to commit suicide. It's a timely tale that takes our country's current obsession with surveillance to a fascinating extreme. I also enjoyed Elizabeth May's two satirical jabs at American culture ("The September Eleventh Follies" and "Tucumcari Tonight!"). Both are clever, intriguing, and very funny. The collection's final story, "Invasion," reminded me a bit of the old Twilight Zone episode "The Invaders" - how far will we go to protect ourselves from our own fears?
The most confounding thing about REDACTED is why this particular group of wildly diverse stories has been gathered together in one volume. The first five stories (none of which is readable) try very hard to be "avant-garde" or "experimental," but fail dismally. The better selections, which are sprinkled in among a few other groaners, read more like traditionally-plotted stories. One - Pat Holland's "Vigilance and Due Diligence" - is a sobering tale about a depressed English teacher who makes a mistake with disastrous consequences. This story simply doesn't belong in the same collection as Tantra Bensko's silly fantasy about "giant cat people" who impregnate a hapless woman or Roussel's stream of consciousness nonsense ("The Chicken Sees").
Honestly, it was the cat story that got my attention in the description of this book - I was intrigued to see what a writer would do with the idea of "cats impregnate[ing] humans." Unfortunately, it isn't much. There are some stories here worth reading, but I'd recommend skipping the first five. If you're a fan of eclectic stories, REDACTED might be worth a try. I picked up the Kindle version when it was offered free of charge - had it been priced much higher than that, I might have regretted my decision to purchase it. Then again, I did like about half of the stories collected here, so it wasn't all bad. This collection is definitely a mixed bag. One star for the worst of the bunch; four stars for the best. Overall, I'll give the collection three.
"Gone to Hell" was hilarious in parts. I'm a lapsed Catholic and related so much to the thought of going crazy in church! And the Holy Water section...just too funny.
"Mau" was imaginative and equal parts hilarious...Like, how did the author come up with such a creative story? It boggles my mind. Anyway, you do NOT want to meet the cat people. This gave me a great laugh.
"The Chicken Sees" references Bukowski but also reminds me of Tom Robbins.
"The Death of Eve" was another great story for lapsed Catholics...just absolutely brilliant.
"Bold Choices" is entertaining but also has valuable commentary on the scientific predicaments we find ourselves in now that technology is hurtling along. Will we have a right to even be "private" in the future? Thought-provoking tale.
"Explaining the Dog Colony" killed it! Hysterical story, and the perfect complement to "Mau":
"Maybe the dog penned in your new neighbor’s back yard once cavorted on a dwarf planet seven and a half billion kilometers away."
"Invasion" was one of those stories that made me hold my breath.
Anyway, there are even more stories in this book but they're all incredible. There's something for everyone, but there is a common thread of wariness with technology and culture, as well as the questioning of certain belief systems. If you're into Vonnegut or Robbins especially, I highly recommend this anthology.