I rarely read ‘proper’ books (paperbacks / hardbacks) and I’d wanted to read this collection for a while so bought it as a paperback so I could sit and read at least one short story a day. (I’m also writing short stories for competitions and submissions too and have sent three off in the last week!).
The OxCrimes collection
For 2014, Oxfam and Profile Books have turned to crime in order to raise a further £200,000 for Oxfam’s work. OxCrimes is introduced by Ian Rankin and has been curated by Peter Florence, director of Hay Festival, where it will be launched in May. The stellar cast of contributors will include Mark Billingham, Alexander McCall Smith, Anthony Horowitz, Val McDermid, Peter James, Adrian McKinty, Denise Mina, Louise Welsh and a host of other compelling suspects. Profile Books have raised more than a quarter of a million pounds for Oxfam by publishing OxTales (2009) and OxTravels (9781846684968) (2011).
This collection is available via http://www.amazon.co.uk/OxCrimes-Introduced-Ian-Rankin-Ox-Tales-ebook/dp/B00IJKJTXW and http://www.amazon.com/OxCrimes-Introduced-Ian-Rankin-Ox-Tales-ebook/dp/B00IJKJTXW.
Review of ‘The Dead Their Eyes Implore Us’ by George Pelecanos
This is a short short story (c. 20 standard book pages) so a short review…
The start of this story has a Silence of the Lambs feel, although I had that in my mind as it had been mentioned a couple of days before in one of the brilliant Crime & Publishment workshop*.
Although I liked the intimacy of first-person point of view, the ‘Let me…’ sentences grated because he kept going back to what I felt were irrelevant times in his life, and it was as if he felt the reader was stopping him (which I would like to have done!).
The main character starts the story by apologising for his bad English yet knows some difficult words.
For me, there was a lot of back story with little action, a shame for the first story, a bit like the first chapter in a twenty-seven chapter novel. There were six pages of set-up which I felt could have been chopped or done in a couple of paragraphs.
It’s an ok story. Fans of description (and of the author) will probably like it – I’m a dialogue fan – but it’s not made me want to read any more of the author’s writing, which is a shame.
Rating: 2 out of 5.
I shall be back tomorrow with my review of Neil Gaiman’s ‘The Case of Death and Honey’, the second story in this collection.
Based in Northamptonshire, England, Morgen Bailey (“Morgen with an E”) is a freelance editor, online tutor, prolific blogger, 2015 Head Judge for the annual H.E. Bates Short Story Competition, Head Judge for the NLG Flash Fiction Competition, RONE 2015 Judge.
As well as a teacher of creative writing (and writing-related I.T.) for her local county council and online, Morgen will be one of five tutors at the 2017 Crime & Publishment alongside crime authors Lin Anderson and Martina Cole!
Morgen’s first love is writing and she is a freelance author of numerous ‘dark and light’ short stories, novels, articles, and very occasional dabbler of poetry. Like her, her blog, https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com, is consumed by all things literary. She is also active on Twitter, Facebook along with many others (listed on her blog’s Contact page) and has created five online writing groups. She also runs a free monthly 100-word writing competition where you can win her online creative writing courses!
Her debut novel is the chick lit eBook The Serial Dater’s Shopping List ($0.99 / £0.77) and she has nine others (mostly crime) in the works. She also has eight collections of short stories available (also $0.99 / £0.77 each) – detailed on https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/books-mine/short-stories.
She also helps other authors with an inexpensive freelance editing and critiquing service (free 1,000-word sample), and welcomes, and actively helps to promote, guest authors on her blog – see opportunities.
*** Breaking news! My online creative writing courses are currently just £1 or $1-2 each! ***
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