Hi and welcome to another #BiteSizeSaturday! Once again I have some bite-sized reviews for you of a bunch of bite-sized stories, have a look!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: short stories are an art form. We don’t expect every novelist to be a poet as well, or vice versa, and we shouldn’t expect all novelists to be able to write a proper short story. A proper short story, a great short story, has the same elements a novel has. It introduces characters, it builds up to something, a reveal, a twist, a satisfying ending. It is a proper story, albeit a very succinct one. This is where Given in Evidence fails. Many of the included stories are more teasers for upcoming books than stories in their own right. One big exception: The Encounter by A.A. Chaudhuri. A proper story, riveting, twisty, although in part a bit predictable, highly entertaining and the only reason I gave the collection more than one star. If you’re looking to find some new novels to read and you like a bit of an introduction first, then you might like this one. If you’re looking for a great short story collection, I’d suggest you look elsewhere…
… and might I suggest you look to: Afraid of the Light! This is an anthology of crime fiction and most importantly: it is a collection of short stories done right! Each story is a mini novel, a full-blown, fleshed-out yet succinct tale and each one hit that sweet spot. I chose this anthology because it has a mix of authors whose work I’ve enjoyed and new to me authors, AND the proceeds go the Samaritans, so you can enjoy yourself and help others, bloody fantastic! I discovered it on Twitter when Meggy was promoting it and she later reviewed it, do check that out here. It’s hard to pick a favourite, they’re all really good, but one that stuck with me is Sausage Fingers by Victoria Selman. Other contributors are Dominic Nolan, James Delargy, Claire Empton, Phoebe Morgan and Niki Mackay. I would definitely recommend this one to crime anthology lovers!
Slasher Girls and Monster Boys is a wicked collection of YA scary stories. I’m calling it YA because the MCs are teenagers but don’t let that fool you: this is one dark anthology. I found it on Hedwigs World, she calls it YA horror done right, and I couldn’t agree more. There was one story that felt a little out of place in this collection, and I didn’t really enjoy it, but I did enjoy the others, among which some corkers by Leigh Bardugo, Marie Lu and Jay Kristoff. I loved that at the end of each story the author mentions which novel or film inspired it (Birds, Psycho, Frankenstein, Alice in Wonderland, What Lies Beneath, … ) My favourite story here was The Flicker, the Fingers, the Beat, the Sigh by April Genevieve Tucholke, a new to me author, but one whose work I definitely want to explore now. This is a tale inspired by I Know What You Did Last Summer, and it starts out with the characters discussing scary movies from the 90s and urban legends. I was listening to this one in the dark and it gave me proper chills. I enjoyed this anthology so much that I decided to treat myself to the paperback, as I want to revisit some of the tales without the hassle of having to locate the story in an audio file. Excellent anthology, recommended!
Thanks for stopping by! Any favourite anthologies? Let me know below!