Short Story Saturday 016: review of ‘Bewilder’ by James Eddy

Welcome to the Short Story Saturday review slot and the sixteenth review in this series. This week’s review is of ‘Bewilder’ by James Eddy.

BewildersmokeI love stories that unfold as they go along, no info. dump at the beginning but just enough to intrigue us then explain as we read.

Any reader who is also a writer is going to pay extra attention to the quality of the writing and they will not be disappointed here. My favourite phrases included ‘He’d drunk in’ (rather than the more usual ‘taken in), ‘melancholy undercurrent’, ‘diamond cascade of rain and tears’ and ‘misery dripped from my face’.

James has avoided using commonplace metaphors / similes and they’re not overdone, as is the mix of past (saw) and past perfect (had found); once the reader is advised that something happened before the simple past, we get our head in the time frame and are then told of that in the simple past (rather than too many ‘had’s). The descriptions of the characters and places are detailed yet leave enough for our imaginations to fine-tune.

I’d printed out the story and taken it for a dog walk where I made comments (in red – I love red pens) and ticks where there were passages I liked. The pages (five of A4 in Arial 12, in case anyone was wondering how long the story was) are covered with ticks so that says it all.

On the down-side… this is a review after all, giving the name of the bar spoiled it for me as I then had a clue as to the ending (which I won’t give away) but I still enjoyed the story enough to write a “Wow!” at the end. 🙂

Thank you James for inviting me to review your story.

Bewilder is available at: Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, Smashwords.com (free), Diesel ebooks.com, and Kobo Books.com.

I reviewed his story Heart over Head over Heels (which is available for free from Smashwords.com) here.

Youngblood booksJames Eddy was born in Braintree, Essex in April 1980. After moving first to Colchester, Essex, the family settled in South Norfolk and James was able to enjoy the wide-open spaces and quiet of the area which fed his imagination.

Following an undistinguished University career, he began writing scripts for films and acting out the cliche of the drunken writer. He diversified by moving into prose and eventually focussed enough to write a collection of Short Stories called ‘Diamonds’ along with several other short stories a novel and novella. He released ‘Bewilder’, the first story from ‘Diamonds’ in April 2012, followed by ‘Heart over Head over Heels’ in May. James’ website is http://youngbloodbooks.webplus.net.

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The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with lad lit novelist Andy Holmes – the five hundred and sixty-ninth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.

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As I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t unfortunately review books but I have a list of those who do, and a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me posting it online in my new Red Pen Critique Sunday night posts then do email me. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.

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