Ultimate Brainbusters Part I by Jonathan Smith has this intriguing blurb on its cover. “Twenty-one short stories within 250 words with incredible plot twists.” I was alerted to the existence of this publication by an email from the author. On Amazon, it sells for USD 0.99 and I bought it with the original intention of reading for entertainment. Then I decided to make it a something-to-do project. My challenge to myself was to read each story and come up with a first impression takeaway line. The emphasis is on “first impression,” something like a reaction word or phrase on a Rorschach inkblot test. The further challenge is: The instant impression cannot be a spoiler, retaining the “incredible” in the plot twist for other readers.
This should be a fast read with only 5250 words. I started the project at 1615 and finished at 1640. (I am a two-finger typist.) Takeaways are in the form of sentences and phrases. Responses for numbers 5, 10, and 20 appear to contain grammar or spelling errors. While that is true, my errors were intentional.
1. THE KNOCKOUT *** I want to make Daddy proud of me.
2. THE IDLE IDOLS *** Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
3. THE LAST LAUGH *** A good laugh is forever.
4. THE SCARS *** My husband is such a cut up.
5. THE GARBAGE *** Some neighbors are badder than others.
6. THE WHITE POWDER *** A sweet surprise.
7. THE MISTAKE *** It takes time to establish relationships.
8. THE BEAUTIFUL GIRL *** I’ve got your number.
9. THE ONLY CHILD *** You can go home again.
10. THE KNOCK *** Seeing the truth is a pane.
11. THE IDEA *** Replacement parts.
12. THE TORTURE *** Putting up with child abuse.
13. THE VACATIONS *** School Fees.
14. THE LONELY FATHER *** Respecting Dad.
15. THE CO-TRAVELLER *** Some numbers are truly odd.
16. THE TRAMP *** Coffee service.
17. THE STORY *** Some bedtime stories keep me awake.
18. THE INVITATION *** Thanks for the Invite.
19. THE STRAIGHT LINE *** He finally got it straight.
20. THE NEIGHBOURS *** Show a little patients.
21. THE SALESMAN *** Beware of impulse buying.
The verdict: I liked all the stories and there were incredible plot twists. Selections 14 and 21 did not surprise me because I saw a variation of them elsewhere on the internet. They were still incredible but what I had seen before constituted spoilers (perhaps for me only).
For content and unique presentation, I would like to give this collection five Amazon stars. However, I give it only four because of editing problems. I am quite critical of grammar and spelling errors even when I intentionally make them, as above. I liked doing this as an “immediate reaction” project. I can see a variation of this showing up as a blogging challenge.