- Paperback: 278 pages
- Publisher: Unthank Books.com (9 Nov. 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0957289707
- ISBN-13: 978-0957289703
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.6 x 22.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,440,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Unthology No.3 Paperback – 9 Nov 2012
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About the Author
Robin Jones is a writer living in Santa Fe.
Top customer reviews
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That's not to say I loved each and every story, I didn't; some I found impenetrable and baffling (and maybe this is a good thing) but it's fair to say that they are well-crafted, innovative and beautifully written. Broad in scope and style there should be something to suit a variety of tastes. Like all great short fiction many of the stories convey an entire life in a handful of pages. Sarah Evans' Terms and Conditions explores the meaning of fatherhood in an achingly beautiful, moving portrait of a cuckolded husband's struggle to love the offspring who may or may not be his - `...like forgiveness, love could not be delivered on a promise.' Sharon Zink investigates the aftershocks of infidelity in a dysfunctional, co-dependent relationship in Paradise and in AJ Ashworth's The Monolith a mysterious column absorbs a man torn between his ex-wife and new lover. Common themes include the intricacies and fragility of sexual relationships, lost love, jealousy and rivalry, and settings span the globe, from Japan to Key West.
Editor Ashley Stokes' novelette, Trans-Neptune, sits at the heart of the collection. It is an erudite, witty meditation on emotional dyslexia, breakdown and obsession, and the damage inflicted on a relationship as a result. William, a man for whom `deep space contact was less scary than eye contact', is so preoccupied with the outer reaches of our Solar System and the discovery of a new planet he is blind to more earthly matters: frustrated, regretful and desperate for attention his wife is voyaging outside the gravitational pull of their marriage. But this does the work a disservice - it's so much more than this. Richly textured it can be read over and over.
There are lyrical tales reminiscent of Toni Morrison and Claire Keegan, like Angela Readman's elegiac Before the Song and John Nicolson's mystical The Ringing Stone, and from the sublime David Rose thought-provoking, quirky narratives concerned with art appreciation for blind people, and a recording engineer's efforts to protect the reputation of a musician in slow decline. Many of the authors will be familiar to readers of the short form, though there's plenty of new talent to discover, like Sarah Dobbs and Debz Hobbs-Wyatt; Unthank publish Dobbs' debut novel, Killing Daniel, next month.
Unthology No. 3 is choc-a-block full of entertaining, unconventional and sexy reads. They will make you laugh, cry and think. Some might have you throwing the book at the wall; all will provoke a reaction. This is the first collection from the Norwich-based house that I have read, though it certainly won't be the last. There are benefits to being slow to discover new publishers - I don't have to wait for No. 4, there are Unthologies one and two to catch.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
In "The Theory of Circles" by Debz Hobbs-Wyatt, the narrator relays the FaceBook and Twitter updates and blog posts of an acquaintance, who documents his observations of his neighbors backwards through time, beginning when he finally decides to "unplug" from the internet and ending when one of the two neighbors first moved in. This story explores the capacity that friendship, and even observation of strangers, can have in helping an individual self-actualize and come out of their shell. It is cleverly written and a fascinating read.
"Trans-Neptune," the collection's longest story, by Ashley Stokes, follows a woman over the course of one day as she struggles in dealing with the fame of her scientist husband, who discovered a new planet in the solar system and whom she discovered has been having an affair. Determined to get revenge on him by having an affair herself, she learns from the obnoxious hotel staff the value of dignity and the influence of lust. The characters shine in this novelette, for their gruesome honesty and especially for their flaws.
Gordon Collins's "Even Meat Fill" and Ian Chung's "The Triptych Papers" are the collection's highlights, exploring the psychological consequences of human nature in two very different but magnificently effective ways. Both, but perhaps especially "The Triptych Papers," stick with the reader long after they're over, leaving behind a labyrinth of psychological contemplation.
Overall this is an outstanding collection of short stories, perfect for the literary-minded reader seeking something with depth and intelligence in the face of our bombardment with a slush pile of lowbrow, contemporary books.