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Toast
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 6 August 2013
If like me you are a fan of short stories then this is the book for you. Several stories which are still long enough to develop the characters and get you involved. My personal favourites include "Nothing But Me" by Adam Blampied and in particular "Nathan Laine" by Ramman Gautam. The latter was an enthralling piece looking at modern warfare and the characters come alive given their realistic portrayal. Never an easy subject to write a story on but this author has done it well. Reading the preface clear how competitive it was for all the writers to get to the stage whereby their stories were selected. In that respect they should all be congratulated. Hope to see more work from these budding authors in the future especially the two mentioned above. All in all excellent value.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 5 August 2013
The world of 'Toast' burns, the heat tantalising and the tales cutting. The characters, crafted by twenty-one deliciously refreshing pens, are forced to struggle in dark realities, where relationships and sanity of mind are pushed to the edge.

From a chilling 'Rabbit' to brutal doppelgängers, Toast promises twists, turns, and a novel taste; a window to 'the malaise of the modern psyche'. This compilation delivers just that as the lines begin to blur, rational and insane behaviour morphing into one, and rendered intangible.

After swallowing the last bite we are left to question whether we are all, in fact, a little insane in a discernibly irrational world.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 6 August 2013
A fantastic anthology of stories here. Particularly enjoyed Nathan Laine by Ramman Gautam - about a soldier and the horrors of modern warfare - a visual style of writing created a sense of urgency! Well worth the price. Thank you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 3 September 2013
`Toast'. The latest addition the selection of novels and anthologies from online start-up publishing company Mardibooks. `Toast' is one of two anthologies composed soley of the winning entries to their most recent short story competition, dubbed "an anthology of contemporary shorts reflecting the malaise of the modern psyche".

And what a feast it is. From chilling horror stories- particularly Rabbit by James Troughton, to bittersweet tales of love and separation like Pianoforte by Lucy Kaufman. They are brief, insightful moments into human life as we know it, or don't know it. An altogether marvellous group of witty short stories stitched together and eloquently edited by Belinda Hunt and RHUL's own Jemila Abulhawa.

You should not open this anthology expecting great works of literature. But what I love about this anthology is what Mardibooks has attempted to do here. What other publications appear to be losing sight of. This book not only brings a variety of great short stories to the fore, but a talented group of writers, from happily married fifty-two year olds to undergraduates seeking their place in the world. Writers are as unique as the stories they've created. But roughly, people being people and doing what they love in the process.

And, you know, maybe this anthology has helped me find my calling. Maybe I will go away and write a short story about how I misjudged a selection of short stories, followed by the climatic moment when I realise I'm a colossal tit. Then other people will go away and do the same. Years in the future there will be volumes upon volumes of short stories dedicated to misjudging short stories. Whole genres will be borne out of snobby English students turning their noses up at books written after the 19th Century. Sounds like a potential musical.

You can almost feel the meaning these stories have to people. It's like all these stories have already been told, in one way or another. Like a family sat round a fireside on a cold night telling stories on Christmas Eve. And the emotional reactions to the stories they hear on their flickering faces in the half-light are as real and as familiar to us as, well, eating a slice of toast.

Check out the review on the blog. (Sorry about the mess)
[...]
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 5 August 2013
A hugely enjoyable anthology which I would heartily recommend not only to those that enjoy short stories but anyone who enjoys good stories.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 2 September 2013
This is an eclectic collection - some are powerfully written pieces, examining contemporary issues, such as Ramman Gautam's well written story which is refreshingly not about sex or childbirth, while others are more reflective, and, as one might expect, a few look inward to the subjective angst of the writer for inspiration. Good to dip into when there is a ten minute gap in your day,
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 2 August 2013
Exciting and vibrant stories from 21 new authors who entered a writing competition and were selected for their originality and excellence from hundreds of submissions. The first story, from which the collection gets its name, is a chilling tale which sets a high bar for the others to follow. They do not disappoint. I love short story collections as you can read a complete story in a sitting and it is good to see that the art of short story writing is far from dead. These stories all have a contempory feel to them. The authors write to disturb our comfortable assumptions and encourage us to think in new ways.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 3 November 2013
A fantastic collection of short stories written by some very promising new authors.

It should be noted that only one story has a happy ending, the others ranging from a bit bleak to downright disturbing, but don't let that put you off!

Definitely worth a read. Looking forward to reading more from these writers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 6 August 2013
For any fan of short stories or indeed good writing of any kind, this well put together anthology is an absolute must. The contributors are all immensely talented. I particularly enjoyed Martha Loader's story "Stranger" which managed to convey the complexity of emotion felt by a woman who is reunited with her abducted daughter in a very real and relatable way.
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on 31 May 2014
I really enjoyed this book. A collection of short stories from a variety of new authors, there's something here for everyone. I was a particular fan of the story "Rabbit" by James Troughton, which had some lovely description and created a really haunting atmosphere. I hope to see more from him - and some of the other authors - in the future.
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