Friday, December 9, 2011


Pages: 167
Date: 09/12/2011
Grade: 4
Details: no. 2 Fiction Desk Anthology

A copy of this book was send to me by the Fiction Desk at the request of Charles Lambert, whose story is one of 9 featured in this anthology.

I don’t read a lot of short fiction and am a bit at a loss as to how to review this book.
The stories in this book are by nine different authors and although three of them are set in a school environment, the content and style of these writings are all very different and individual.
In “Jaggers & Crown” James Benmore tells the story of Kevin Crown who, when seeing his somewhat premature obituary in a newspaper reflects, on his past as part of a comedy duo.
Jennifer Moore’s “Swimming with the Fishes” tells of a family buying a rather unusual addition to their aquarium and is a story in which the fantastical appears to make perfect sense.
“Pretty Vacant” by Charles Lambert is by far the longest story in this collection. It tells of a fifteen year old girl who is send from Italy to a summer school in England against her wishes where she embarks on a rather dark and potentially disastrous scheme with a local boy.
Mischa Hiller’s “Room 307” shows us how a man being seduced by a beautiful woman while away from home for work is not quite what it seems.
The second story set in a school is “Dress Code” by Halimah Marcus. Here a young male teacher in an all girl school falls foul of the newly introduced casual Friday.
“The Romantic” by Colin Corrigan is set in Connemara in Ireland and sees a one-armed poet determined to live only in the present suddenly confronted by painful memories after a drinking session with a younger woman.
In “After All the Fun We Had” by Ryan Shoemaker the attempts made by a high school to make going to and staying in class more fun get completely out of hand.
“Glenda” by Andrew Jury describes the somewhat strange relationship between a man and his mother in law after he has been left by his wife.
“Get on the Green” by Jason Atkinson is the last story in this book and describes a day in school as experienced by a four year old girl while she gets to grips with issues such as being good, the importance of college and race.

I really can’t say anymore about these stories without spoiling them for anybody else who will read them, so I won’t.
I will say that none of these stories disappointed and that reading them has left me with a few names of authors I will have to take a closer look at. I will also say that if I had to pick favourites from these nine, they would be “Swimming with the Fishes” and “Pretty Vacant”.
Finally I would like to thank Charles Lambert and the Fiction Desk for giving me the opportunity to read this collection. I enjoyed the experience.

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