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Unspent Time Paperback – November 4, 2013
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For example, in WHAT MAKES PEOPLE INTERESTING Parke begins his tale about a man (for whom he assigns several monikers) whose life occupation is designing the color of the inside of shoes (I'm not making this up...) by stating `It is not uncommon for writers to have a keenly developed interest in their fellow man. For them to spend hours looking at people, listening to them, discovering all the little synchronicities and ambiguities that make them unique. All of it is precious information to the writer-brain. From the way people carry themselves to their wardrobe of choice to their hobbies and the friends that they keep. But I don't have that. Not in the least. In fact, I can't stand people. And there's so freaking many of them. They're like huge, overblown ants, crawling all over the world and getting in my way.' Now, how is that for starters on telling a story? Well, absolutely hilarious - and brave.Read more ›
Warning: reading this novel may make you more attractive to the opposite sex and elevate your random luck by about 9.332%*
(*These statements have not been evaluated by anyone of consequence.)
From the award winning author of `No Hope for Gomez!' comes a collection of 20 impossible tales. Permeating the cracks between the past and the present is the realm of Unspent Time. Pockets of `should have been's and `might have happened's. Time that was allotted but never spent. In this realm we find the stories that could have been true.
Such as the story of Kiala, whose aunt and caretaker disappears one day, leaving her as the sole Huntress to battle the giant octopi to feed her village. Or the revealing tale of Goki Feng Ho: the ancient Chinese art of decoding the meaning of car license plates. And the heartbreaking story of the man responsible for choosing the colors of the insides of your shoes. As he toils away in obscurity, his work impacts society in ways we'll never fully comprehend. And let's not forget the story behind Unspent Time itself, the metaphysical ramifications of which will leave the scientific community feeling mostly indifferent about it for decades to come...
I fell in love with Graham Parke's writing when I read No Hope for Gomez (I've posted about Gomez plenty of times. I know I have.) so I jumped at the chance to read this collection of short stories. The summaries sounded just like Parke, and just like my kind of short story: surprising, well thought out, with a point that was both simple enough and poignant enough that it mattered to me, not so obvious that it feels like a sermon, but not so obscure that it takes months to figure out.Read more ›
Soon you find yourself "Googling" the writer, wanting to learn more about him, searching for more of his work: you simply must have another taste of his unique brand of "insanity", discovering along the way that the author himself, is as interesting as the stories his writes.
In "Unspent Times", Parke invites us on a journey through the inner workings of that creative tool of his, through a series of short stories. Filled with his addicting and bizarre sense of humor, the book also reveals Parke's unexpected "serious" side, surprising us with deeply sweet and touching tales ("Dear Damien", "Following the Khyserians", among others).
Above all, "Unspent Times" reinforces what we learned about the author from his first book: Parke needs to write. About anything and everything, all or nothing, but he needs to write. And we are damn glad he does it! Be it in short or long form, about otherworldly events or simple daily issues, Parke's take on whatever subject he decides to tackle definitely makes the reading worth while.