- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 113 KB
- Publisher: Marian Coman; 1 edition (9 Aug. 2011)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B005GQW132
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,276,724 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Fingers and other fantastic stories Kindle Edition
Top Customer Reviews
"Fingers" is the story of a man in a strange relationship with the warp on his right forefinger and recollecting some of his childhood memories. It is one of the most evocative pieces of Marian Coman, although this particular aspect will appeal differently to the Romanian readers than those outside.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Fingers is a collection of four short stories made available on the cheap via the Kindle Store. The title story "Fingers" has a wonderfully haunting aspect to its look at childhood in a Communist country, and the young lad's apparent wart on one of his fingers, which he's named Alfonso. Marian offers up the bland surroundings of the boy's life, which I thought were beautifully typified by his bombarding local kids from his bedroom window to the snowy grounds below with oranges. A great scene that is well worth reading.
The next story, "The Bathroom Door," is a bit of a horror story. Thankfully, however, it's not the kind of obvious horror story some might expect from the title. This one deals with a son's torment in the wake of his father's death and mother's insanity. Some pretty grim stuff, but told in such a way that gave it a poetic feel.
"Unwired" could fit into the sci-fi category, though it too had its dark elements. A boy on an island who feels separated from his peers on account of lacking something the others have. Frankly, I wouldn't too keen on having an extra "hole", but that's just me.
"Between Walls" was probably my least favorite among the four, but still a good read, which seemed to offer a new twist on an old piece of Romanian folklore. I'm not exactly read up on folklore outside my own country, so I'd probably have to hit Google or Wikipedia to get a better appreciation for this story.
All in all, it's an impressive sampling that shows Marian Coman deserves to find an English audience. My personal preferences toward each story diminished as I read each one, but that is something due simply to story placement. If you're looking to give an international voice a chance, here's one to consider.
A scene from "Fingers" where the child-narator throws oranges out of the balcony is probably one of the best part in Marian Coman's stories, because it emphasizes the way children lived the Communist period. About Communism people wrote hundreds of novels, shared hundreds of experiences. However, there is not so much told about how children lived, how children felt, how children lived as children in the first place. Children did not know about the lack of freedom of speech, about the death of those against the Party, but they knew that there were no oranges or chocolate, or not even electricity. "Some of them, the little ones, didn't even know what such a fruit looked like." This sentence seems to me to sumarize what Communism meant for those little children playing behind the blocks.
Even though Marian Coman's stories advertise themseleves as fantastic, they are more than that, they show the broken generation of children of the Communism period.
"Fingers" is the story of a man in a strange relationship with the warp on his right forefinger and recollecting some of his childhood memories. It is one of the most evocative pieces of Marian Coman, although this particular aspect will appeal differently to the Romanian readers than those outside. That doesn't mean that only Marian Coman's compatriots will find this story captivating, I only believe that the points of interest for "Fingers" will come from different angles. Set during the Communist regime of Nicolae Ceau'escu the story connects, to a point, with the collective memory of the Romanian readers putting on the wall scenes and events which can prove to be painful and sweet in the same measure. For other readers, these scenes might create an eerie and strange atmosphere, bitter here and there, but true to the reality of those historical times. That harsh period of time is dressed however in the clothes of fiction which bring all the readers to the same ground, allowing them to share some weird and unsettling moments together.
The monks from "Between Walls" find that the walls of their monastery are unsettled by strange noises. In the search for the source of those noises they will also attempt to cleanse their monastery of its disquietude. "Between Walls" has at its base one of the most known Romanian legends, that of the master builder Manole. His legend, described in the folk ballad "The Monastery on the Arge' River", tells the myth of the onymous monastery. Basically, the master builder Manole and nine of his men are hired by Negru Vod' to build the most beautiful monastery only to see the walls they raised by day crumbling by night. Manole has a dream in which learns that in order to finish the building he and his men have to sacrifice some very dear to them and the next day that person proves to be Ana, the pregnant wife of Manole. After the master builder Manole bricks his wife inside the monastery's walls Negru Vod' leaves him and his men on the building roof to prevent them to raise other, more beautiful, monastery. Manole and his men make wings from the roof's tiles, but fell to the ground and die one by one. It is said that in the place where Manole fell it is now a spring of clear water. Marian Coman changes the approach of the legend, giving it a new perspective, a background for the marriage between Manole and Ana and a glimpse into the monastery's future. The author also offers a natural environment for the human character and condition within "Between Walls".
"Fingers and Other Fantastic Stories" is a short collection of stories, but it gives enough opportunity for Marian Coman's talent to surface. A flowing language, kept with an appropriate translation as far as I can see, a mind that spawns images and scenes with a discomforting ease and an ability to give grace to tragedy are qualities that make Marian Coman a unique and powerful writer. I only hope that he receives the deserved occasions to enchant the readers as often as possible, equally in his native language as in others around the world.
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