A Small Fiction:An Illustrated Collection of Little Stories is a random collection of stories, the operative word being "little." As in a handful of sentences (no more than 140 characters--yes, that was characters, not words). I started the book ploughing full steam ahead and after several pages, felt like I'd hit a brick wall. Are these page supposed to be related? Am I just reading little previews of longer stories--sort of the teaser to get you hooked? Um, no, those were the "stories."
Yes, you can definitely read this in one sitting or you can discipline yourself to read only one a day (sort of a literary vitamin). If you have the proclivity to write, you may want to create some back story, or a continuation of the story and use it as a writing exercise to get your own pen warmed up. If you don't mind marking up the book, there is plenty of space to journal or jot your thoughts directly on the page. Readers may enjoy grabbing some colored pencils and coloring in the drawings, or sketching one's own picture to accompany a story. The book could even provide fun material for posting a story on an office white board as a kick start to the work day.
Quirky, creative, and innovative all aptly describe this little volume. Readers may actually take more time puzzling out the meaning of some than it will take to read the actual words. So I guess you can call this a brain-building book. Perhaps the next best thing for maintaining mental clarity! This could make a great coffee table book--guests can skim through a large part of the book in the time it takes you to pour the tea. This could also be a great book for anyone who claims they "have no time to read." Or for someone who lets too much time elapse between reading so that characters get forgotten. It's a pick-up-whenever-you-have-3 seconds kind of read (e.g. a mother with 3 children under 4 years).
There are stories for everyone: some bittersweet, snarky, brooding, or savage, while others are surprisingly tender or contemplative. I was envisioning some selections painted on a canvas or elegantly lettered into a journal to savor and reflect on later. Some will make you laugh, others may elicit a tear, while others will require some deep thought (and could foster some interesting dicussions). Crafting a punch with so few characters takes a very finely honed pen for which I applaud the author.
Definitely a gift you can give to someone who has everything, or use as a clever hostess gift for your next dinner party. Or bring it along to read while you wait for food to be served at a restaurant. And now, you've probably spent more time reading this review than you will spend reading the book! Pre-order your copy today (releases on October 6) and while you wait for its delivery, be sure to check out the author's Twitter feed: @ASmallFiction.
Disclaimer: I received a free digital copy of A Small Fiction from NetGalley for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.
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