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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written
This book of short stories is, as the title suggests, a varied bag, from humour to horror. It is the author's first publication and I have to say the writing is in many ways better than that found in most first Indie books. The style is clear and concise and easy to follow. The only reservation I have is that it didn't have that spark that allows me to feel the...
Published on 5 July 2012 by Ignite

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining.
Like it says on the tin (or book cover) ten very different tales. Some of them were a twist in the tale, others were just fragments of a character's life.

I didn't read every story because not every story could hold my attention. I found the lengthy paragraphs unwelcoming on the eye, but one tale really had me giggling: The Ornithologist. It wasn't a horror...
Published 22 months ago by Louise Wise


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written, 5 July 2012
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Ignite (East Yorkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: ECLECTIC: Ten Very Different Tales (Kindle Edition)
This book of short stories is, as the title suggests, a varied bag, from humour to horror. It is the author's first publication and I have to say the writing is in many ways better than that found in most first Indie books. The style is clear and concise and easy to follow. The only reservation I have is that it didn't have that spark that allows me to feel the author's passion for the story s/he is writing. This could be the fault of the medium. Within the confines of a short work it's difficult to flesh out the characters so the reader cares about them and it's hard to give enough background for plot development.

I would love to see this author stretch his wings and take on a bigger project and really put his soul into it. Then I would feel I had met the real Jonathan Hill. I so look forward to that!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great collection, 1 Aug 2012
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I really enjoyed these various stories, so much that nearly missed a bus whilst reading one at the bus stop, I was so engrossed in the story!

Great for reading when you have a spare moment.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable, 3 July 2012
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This is the first book by this new author.I wanted something short to read while I was waiting for our book club for this month to be chosen.I was pleasantly suprised by this book of short stories, my favourites were 'Modern Art' & The Ornithologist.

I do like the author's syle of writing and would like to read a full lengh novel written by Jonathan.I do hope he has one planned, and I will be watching out for it!

Well done Jonathan!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining., 20 Aug 2012
By 
Louise Wise (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: ECLECTIC: Ten Very Different Tales (Kindle Edition)
Like it says on the tin (or book cover) ten very different tales. Some of them were a twist in the tale, others were just fragments of a character's life.

I didn't read every story because not every story could hold my attention. I found the lengthy paragraphs unwelcoming on the eye, but one tale really had me giggling: The Ornithologist. It wasn't a horror tale, but one of observance. Its dry humour appealed to me, and made me understand that Jonathan Hill is clearly an author who has a strong sense of how the human psyche works.

I could imagine him writing a chilling thriller in the near future!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous short stories, 31 July 2012
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Like others, I am not usually a fan of short stories but thought I would give these a try. I was really captivated from the first story and read them in two sittings. I love the authors easy, simple writing style, well it seems simple but he has the true writers knack of saying a few words that convey a lot of imagery. Some of that imagery is still in my mind now, always a good sign of a writer. One of those images that has remained, is of the ornithologists mint pinging off the bird feeder, an image that truly did make me laugh out loud. The author can write in a humorous way and has a great sense of the absurd, however I did feel he could have developed this further at times. Humorous writing is a great talent to have and I hope to see more of this from the author. But most of the tales are written poignantly, with great depth and pathos, genuinely moving, and some are downright chilling! ( The Hotel springs to mind )
This collection truly is eclectic, and a real achievement for a first time author. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend these tales, most of the endings will surprise you,, in a Tale's of The Unexpected kind of way, and I cant wait for more from this wonderful author!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Yarns, 5 Jan 2013
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Firstly I've got to say I enjoyed all of the stories in this collection, which are accurately described as eclectic! They're all well written and although I haven't read many short stories I found them to be of a length which retained my interest. The obvious winner for me in this collection is Modern Art which has resulted in a deservedly successful spin off. However I also think running a very close second is The Ornithologist; I really enjoyed it and I think Jim has got plenty of scope for further stories.
Enjoyable and easy to read - A good collection.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wide spectrum of fine writing, 8 Oct 2012
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Eclectic is one of the most well-titled books I've read for a while! These short stories cover a lot of ground, and show off the versatility of Jonathan Hill's writing.

This is one for those who enjoy reading stories in rapid succession. A few were a little too short for my tastes, or didn't have as satisfying or meaningful a conclusion as I'd hoped. But I never felt much disappointment because a new one came along quickly after.

Of those I enjoyed the most, Game Over had the potential to be a much longer tale of computer game obsession, Modern Art made me laugh the most, and The Last Laugh had the strongest twist ending. But it was the final story, Thomas Turner's Talk, which carried the most emotional wallop for me.

Based on this selection, I am keen for Jonathan to write a full-length novel, keeping the precision of his style while exploring story and characterisation with greater depth.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Enjoyable And Entertaining Read, 29 Sep 2012
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I finished this book in one sitting. I've had it in my waiting to be read folder for some months and I'm a little annoyed with myself for leaving it so long. Reading it was a little like riding a roller coaster, up one minute, down the next. There are as the title tells it 10 very different tales, each telling a story that when put together, evoke a whole gamut of emotions. Within a short time I was scared, relieved, amused, sad, excited etc. All were easy to read and with one exception the stories held my attention to the end, each with very satisfactory endings. At the price, this book's a steal.

Jonathan's style of writing suited me well and I hope he'll go on to write a full length novel, I would be surprised and sad if it wasn't a winner, all he needs is a little luck, he already has the talent.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and well written, 22 July 2012
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I'm not a big fan of short stories but I must admit I enjoyed these very much. I liked the variety, it was a bit like a pick and mix, you weren't sure what you were going to get next! Like another reviewer I found the stories well written for a first time author and I look forward to seeing his style develop...maybe a novella next time so we can see characters develop? Fully recommend for those of you who like a little dip in between novels.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent collection of short stories, 18 Feb 2013
This review is from: ECLECTIC: Ten Very Different Tales (Kindle Edition)
This short story collection is appropriately titled and its rich variety of characters and situations is a testament to Jonathan Hill's impressive range. The author deals in recognisable types (nerdy birdwatcher; teenager obsessively hooked on play station games; a lady of a certain age) yet skilfully imbues his central characters with a singularity and a distinctiveness which elevates them above the commonplace and makes them original and memorable.

Every story has an unexpected dénouement, none of which is trite or predictable and, at times, makes you gasp. I was reminded of the art of Roald Dahl: although some of the stories in Eclectic stray into territory too full of sensibility and pathos to be Dahl's.

Jonathan Hill is an excellent miniaturist and he has mastered the art of conveying considerable amounts of exposition with great economy and a felicitous, unforced style. Two stories in the collection demonstrate this: the intensely poignant Till Death us Do Part, which, with superb nuance and the simplest of effects, chronicles the course of a man and a woman's lifetime relationship in a few compelling pages: also, Thomas Turner's Talk which vividly depicts the tortured world of a bullied teenager without ever becoming sentimental. Indeed, the sensitive insights revealed in both these stories suggest that the author has a potentially fine novel to give us on the theme of fragile yet resilient human relationships.

Many of Jonathan Hill's characters are accident prone. For example: the hapless birdwatcher in The Ornithologist; the guest who confronts the paranormal in The Hotel (a story which put me in mind of Stephen King's The Shining); and the hugely successful comedy actor, in House Full, who, although at the Zenith of his career, experiences emptiness and finds that the evening ends suddenly for him. And ambiguously for us.

Many of these stories make you laugh out loud. Particularly, Modern Art. Maureen is one of those instantly recognisable, well meaning, middle aged, middle brow women whose cultural pretensions inevitably set her on course for a faux pas. I shall never forget Maureen's embarrassing and humiliating encounter with an objet d'art! She is a character worthy of further development as she is so full of comic possibilities.

The stories in Eclectic amused me; diverted me; entertained me, moved me; and always engaged me. If nothing else, read them for their variety and the quality of Jonathan Hill's spare and economical prose. Highly recommended.
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