Tuesday 3 July 2018

Book Review: Sticky Fingers by JT Lawrence

I love short stories, and seeing as I'd just come off the marathon read that is 11.22.63, this collection was just what the doctor ordered.

As most such collections go, though, this one was a mixed bag.

The first story, Bridge Gate, would easily get five stars from me. It was poignant and emotional--actually having me almost tearing up by the end.

I have a friend who reads a lot of e-book samples, and will immediately stop and refuse to buy the book, if he finds just a single editing issue. I couldn't help thinking of him as I read this story; the first half of it contains quite a few, but they're all deliberate. I wonder if he'd actually take the time to catch the joke, or if he'd give up way too soon.

The last story, Escape, is similarly good, but for different reasons. You kind of figure out what's going on quite early into it, and because of that, you think you can predict the ending. But you can't.

I quite liked the story about the pigeons too, but aside from these three, none of them were particularly memorable. They were good... just not that good.

The one about the review of the holiday resort started out quite funny, but quickly became silly. And I struggled to reconcile what exactly was happening. At first, it seems like a guy's making a public review on a public website. The establishment responds to the review, he responds, and so on. After the second reply, it starts looking like a private e-mail conversation instead. Was it ALWAYS a private e-mail conversation, or did it start in public but become private? Or is it private from the beginning?

Either way, the ending, while I can understand the attempt at humour, doesn't make sense. That doesn't look like any non-delivery report I've ever seen coming from a mail server. And his e-mail address/domain name doesn't work, either.

I guess, being in IT, these things just bother me a bit too much.

Grey Magic, which I know is insanely popular (popular enough to warrant a spin-off novel-length work, apparently) wasn't really my cup of tea, although the ending made me chuckle. And the titular story, Sticky Fingers, was amusing, but predictable.

The editing of the whole collection was great. Almost flawless, in fact (which is what brought this review up from three stars to four), except for one little niggle. I know that times are changing, and I'm just being an old fuddy-duddy, but I kept screaming at my e-reader: "Alright is not a word! All right?"

My Review: 4 / 5 stars

About the book

Alternate cover edition for B01F6FAQZC

Diverse, dark-humoured, and deliciously bite-sized, this compelling collection of 12 short stories by JT Lawrence include:

'Escape' -- a story about a suicidal baby who knows he was born into the wrong life, and has to get creative to take measures correct the mistake, much to his mother¹s horror.

'The Itch' -- a story about an intense, uncontrollable, unexplainable itch that lands the protagonist in a mental institution.

'Bridge Gate' -- In this poignant and charming short story, a daughter yearns to connect with her absent father through the letters they exchange. She's not put off by his pedantic corrections of her writing, despite the slow reveal that he is less than perfect himself.

'The Unsuspecting Gold-digger' -- a woman gradually poisons her husband so that she doesn't have to break his heart.

Click here to find out where you can get a copy.

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