Thursday, 28 April 2011
The War is Language: 101 Short Works - Nath Jones
Title: The War is Language: 101 Short Works
Author: Nath Jones
Genre: General Fiction
Barnes & Nobel
When I was first asked to review this book by the author I was a little bit unsure, it did sound interesting but I was put off by the synopsis which used statements like; "Flash Fiction", "Anti-Authority Conformists" and "Prose Poetry". This all sounded a little bit too "arty" for me; however I decided to have a read anyway in the hope that I could expand my horizons and read something that I normally wouldn't have picked up.
The first section of the collection on memories is titled Breadcrumbs Ablaze and on the whole I found it rather enjoyable. Some of the stories made me grin, some made me think and others just plain entertained me. The imagery used by the author was impressive although I have to admit that some of the stories were possibly a bit "beyond" me and left me a little bit confused. My favourite two stories in this section had to be Poetry & AT-4.
The second section on dichotomy is titled Chimerical Pinwheels and I think this had to be my least favourite section of the collection. Firstly I need to admit that I had to look up dichotomy because I had no idea what it was, wikipedia told me that a dichotomy is any splitting of a whole into exactly two non-overlapping parts. I am not sure that really helped me understand what I was going to read but I made a go of it anyway. I just found I had to try and think a lot to understand what was being presented and reading it before I went to bed and was therefore tired was probably the wrong thing to do.
The third and final section about letters to a fake advice columnist was titled Letters When Gods Won't Do and this was my favourite section. Some of them were hilarious and I felt that I had to pass my Kindle across to my wife to let her read them, I think she started getting annoyed when I ended up doing it for nearly every letter at one point.
Overall, I didn't find this collection very different from many other short story collections I have read, in that I enjoyed some stories but there were also some that left me cold. I did feel that my brain had been given a workout by the end of the collection which is probably a good thing to do now and then. If you are after a thought-provoking and at times amusing read then you should give this collection a go, the final section alone I think is worth picking it up.