Mr Steve Morris has done it again! Jumble Tales is another wonderful collection of short stories. The `real' people are back with their `real' lives and their `real' endings. A jumble of tales put together to once again show us life doesn't always smell of roses, some days it can smell a little on the nose.
Following on from Steve's previous collection In All Probability, Jumble Tales brings to life real characters from the past, present and future. Some stories are wacky, some intriguing and some are downright scary. There is something for everyone and I dare say there will be at least one story which resonates for each and every reader. Fate and destiny are again big players and of course the biggest player of all is Lady Luck.
I honestly cannot pick a favourite story, I loved them all and for different reasons. I loved the characters in some and I loved the circumstances in others, quite a few I loved both the characters and the circumstances. There were a couple of stories where characters from In All Probability made an appearance and I loved that Steve did this, it felt like I was being given another chapter to add to their previous story. Once again I wanted to read beyond the last word of each short story, wanted to know more of what was going to happen and this is testament to Steve's writing ability.
I feel like I am reiterating a lot of what I said in my review for In All Probability but the fact is this book does follow the same lines and is just as good, if not better. Again it was great to read a story here and there and I had to stop myself from reading the whole book through; I didn't want the stories to mesh together but then I also didn't want to put it down. A round of applause I must give for I was captured by the words and it was very hard to practice restraint and make myself stop. And whilst I am clapping I must also applaud another fantastic cover!
If you have read In All Probability and liked it I definitely recommend following through and obtaining Jumble Tales, you will not be disappointed. If you haven't yet read In All Probability and you like the sound of `real' stories without fantastical endings but with probable endings then I suggest you go out and purchase both In All Probability and Jumble Tales. Why not treat yourself to both?! I dare say you will be happy with your purchase.
Thank you again, Steve, for providing me with a copy of your work. I love reading your short stories and am super pleased to hear that a novel is in the making!!
The landscape that used to be the medium of the short story is quickly becoming an arid wasteland left to the childish musings of novelists interested in making a quick buck. Some, like Cormac McCarthy, have completely abandoned the medium as pointless. There are a few writers out there who are valiantly trying to keep the short story alive. Steve Morris is one of them.
With his second short story collection, Jumble Tales, Mr. Morris illustrates eighteen individual stories with grace. His strengths lie in his ability to seamlessly bring us into the narrative, providing the reader with just enough to follow through the tale without being bogged down with trivial information.
Many of the stories introduce a type of twist at the end, which, for the most part, is used effectively. There are times, however, that some of these twists seem a bit forced. For me the twist at the end of The Best Policy was jarring and, for me, took away from what otherwise would've been a great tale.
The stories that I enjoyed most, however, were the ones where the twists were less jarring or completely absent altogether. One of my favorite stories was One-Nil, an elegantly told story of a soccer player's redemption. While reading, I could almost taste the grains of dirt between my teeth, and I actually found myself reading this story over and over again. Ships That Pass is another favorite that will be familiar for anyone who feels that they never have enough time alone with their significant other.
Steve Morris shines as a writer of short stories. In his introduction, he broaches the subject of writing a novel. There are parts of me that hope that he doesn't. Not because I don't think he would be a proficient novelist, but because I worry that the short story landscape may become more barren.
If he were still alive, Rod Sterling should be introducing the stories in Jumble Tales. I've been told never to compare one book, or story, to another. But in this case, I think it's ok. The short stories in this book were all very well written, and I will honestly say that I enjoyed them much more than Mr. Morris' first book "In All Probability." And I will have to gladly compare them to "Twilight Zone" stories.
Each short story builds to a surprise ending. A few I thought I knew how they would end, only to come to the end and find myself surprised at how the story actually turned out. "Misspent Youth" and the gifted piano player with a foul mouth, "Out of Range" and how wrapped up we all get with technology now are two of my favorites. And my ultimate favorite; "Ships that Pass." I thought at first I was reading a love story, and I was, but the surprise ending really knocked me for a loop. The author takes you through death and discovery, a youth drug that causes violent mood swings, and even a wrongly imprisoned man who finds a bit of revenge after 20 years. The stories are varied, but each with its own charm. None of the stories are more than a few pages, but each is well written, and a complete pleasure to read.
An outstanding collection of incredible stories that I'm certain Rod Sterling would love, if he were still with us. I'll gladly recommend this book to anyone who reads. I enjoyed the book immensely and believe the stories will appeal to almost every reader. So bravo to Mr. Morris, and I will definitely be looking forward to everything else he writes!
Book Title: "In All Probability" & "Jumble Tales" Author: Steve Morris Published By: Pneuma Springs Publishing Age Recommended: 18 + Reviewed By: Kitty Bullard Raven Rating: 5
Review: These are two wonderfully delightful books by a man that has clearly had his own ups and downs in life. Steve Morris weaves tales of good fortune and hardship with a master storyteller's pen. I am use to anthologies that range from romance to horror and almost any other genre you can think of, but this is the first time I have read a book about the lot life can hand you and the good or bad that often comes with it.
I'll admit I was skeptical going into these books but I was surprised to find the mixed bag of tales that both contained. These books prove that true life can often be just as wonderfully exciting, adventurous, and fantastic as tales woven from the gossamer fabric of fantasy.
I will be looking for more to come from this UK Author!
Jumble Tales is a collection of thought-provoking short stories. They offer snapshots of the lives of characters who have the everyman's interest in music or sport or work, yet who are unusual in some way. Often the main character has to deal with some piece of good or bad fortune that reverses during the course of the story.
There is the man who scores the winning goal in a football match, the members of a pub band who get lucky when it ought to be too late, an overprotective father, a corporate hitman, a mindreader. There are men responsible for local security; others who are responsible for global security. Bargains are made that have consequences for those making them.
Whether set in the future or the present, whether realistic or fantastic, all the stories have a neat twist at the end. I liked the way that each one had an idea behind it.
Made up of eighteen short stories, Jumble Tales is another anthology by Steve Morris. With about twelve stories less than In All Probability, this collection is not any less in quality. In fact, the page number size is about the same. The stories ring with dark humor, are gritty, and even warming at times.
Each story is unique with fresh characters and often a twist or turn as well as good use of language.
With Steve Morris, an author from the UK, the English is British in places, but the Good-Old-American should have no trouble figuring out the language and meaning for him/herself. Pneuma Springs Publishing has taken on this excellent author, with two anthologies of short stories under his belt.
I enjoyed the up-front and personal stories, felt raw from a man who speaks his mind and look forward to more from this author. Someone to keep our eyes on, as readers!
Reviewed by Ami Blackwelder Author of The Shifters of 2040
Having read Playing Havoc last week and really enjoyed the fresh style of writing, I decided to go for Jumble Tales even though I usually tend to shy away from short stories. But, wow, I was not disappointed. I can only describe each of the eighteen short stories as one of those exquisitely small and fine Belgian chocolates with a burst of quality in the centre. The stories are short but are very deep and thought-provoking, and the black humour interspersed inside makes it a very enjoyable read. I will definitely sample Morris' other work, In all Probability, in the coming few weeks.
Jumble Tales is the second book of short stories by Steve Morris. After reading the first book, In All Probability, I knew that he was onto something special. I looked forward to the second book and Jumble Tales did not disappoint! It has everything from an autistic mathematical genius who could save the world, to a crazy child kidnapper who lives in a world where females have become scarce, to old favorites like dead eye. So I invite all readers to jump into Jumble Tales and enjoy what lady luck has to offer.