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Monday, March 31, 2014

Book Review: The Trembling Fist by Lance Manion

 

Book: The Trembling Fist

Author: Lance Manion

No. of Pages: 184

Genre: Ault Humor, Fiction, Short Story Collection

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

 

The author wrote to me describing his latest short story collection (this one is his 5th) as belonging to a adult humor genre. I don’t really remember reading anything like that so I chose to pick this one up.  The book has 69 very short stories spread across 180 pages with a very simple cover design – nothing remarkable about it.

The first story itself is a pretty weird one. Written in a conversational style, it is as if the author is actually telling you the story face to face … and keeps commenting and deviating from the story-telling based on your expressions and comments/feedback. The story was action packed and anti-climactic. Interesting read. And also the longest story of the book. The rest of the book is packed with 2 page stories (a little more or less).

The stories are at best: WEIRD

The author has a weird writing style and even weirder thought process about things which is reflected in the stories / essays.

There are times when the author, ‘seemingly unintentionally’ gives you food for thought (rest assured; it was completely intentional’. And on the other hand, there are plenty of stories where the message is so ‘subtle’ that you completely miss the point wondering what the hell did you just read. Why the hell did the author write that piece of nonsense?

I have gone through that so many times ... believe me I can actually count it since I made a list of the titles of all 69 stories and was noting my comments as well as rating for each story … and while I gave 3 and 4 rating to some stories, a large number got 2 and even 1. I am sure I missed the point the author made … or maybe the author was just having some fun inserting some non-sense stories in between intelligent ones … just to have a good laugh at all the readers. 

The stories were described as ‘adult humor’ and one might be forgiven to think of them as erotic. No – not really. They are not erotic. They are just not for children. They are for a matured audience. Well … I can’t explain it. Just keep it away from children.

The ‘stories’ are not really stories but sort of commentaries … it almost felt like reading a blog where the author posts his opinion on things as varied as colors in a color palette (literally all sorts of things)

I am not sure how I would recommend this book to anyone. As much as there is some really interesting stuff packed in there, there is a lot of non-sense too (or to be fair to the author, lets say, stuff that did not make sense to me). And it requires a different kind of person to be able to digest the stuff written by Lance Manion ... so I end up giving it an average rating. Not too bad, not to great – take it up at your own risk and don’t blame me or the author for your time spent on the book.

 

Ratings on Book Review Parameters:

Cover Design: 2.0 / 5

Writing Style: 3.5 / 5

Characters:     2.5 / 5

Story / Plot:     2.5 / 5

Climax:            2.0 / 5

Overall:           3.0 / 5   

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