Disregard any Reader Warnings

First Contract by Frank Westworth is a short story, undoubtedly a teaser for longer novels to come. The story itself is preceded by a warning that it is for an adult audience with graphic scenes of sex and violence. That must be a generic warning for all Westworth books. I did not see any such scenes in this story.

What I did see were some very long sentences that will slow a reader down during a search for meaning. The exercise in interpretation is pleasant; the reader is further entertained by understated and sometimes very subtle humor. Two of the more unusual sentences are quoted below.

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FFfAW: Dad’s garden

I just wanted to give some exposure to this writer of excellent short stories and flash fiction.

AngieTrafford

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Louise with the Story Teller’s Abode. Thank you Louise!

My dad had always been very protective about his garden. So protective, in fact, that I had never once been allowed to see it. He told me that I just could not understand how to grow vegetables and so I wasn’t allowed out there.

I always assumed that it was because I was a girl, and he always wanted a son to pass this knowledge onto. Sadly, that never happened and I was an only child.

When he was dying he pressed a rusty key into my hand and winked at me. “Look after my garden for me.”

When he had gone I went outside to the garden. It felt so wrong to be excited that I was finally going to see this big secret. As the gate creaked open I looked around and…

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Twisted Palahniuk Selected Stories, Some NSFW

OK, the tales are twisted, but not really NSFW. Videos might be NSFW, so might pictures. (My Kindle epub has no pictures). Generally speaking, if you are reading some of these stories at work, you won’t get busted. Just don’t read them on a “parents take their kids to work day.” If you do, don’t let your kids read over your shoulder.

Burnt Tongues is a collection of short stories edited by Chuck Palahniuk. Note the subtitle: An Anthology of Transgressive Stories. To get an idea of what transgressive as a genre is, I refer to the dictionary that comes with the Amazon Kindle Application for PC under special usage:

of or relating to fiction, cinematography, or art in which orthodox cultural, moral, and artistic boundaries are challenged by the representation of unconventional behavior and the use of experimental forms.

This is a qualified definition, meaning a writer in this genre can use other phrases, such as minimalist or grotesque. The editors of this volume explain this in their forward. In The Power of Persisting: An Introduction, Chuck Palahniuk adds thoughts on how this genre came to be so unconventional. His introduction will soften the blow for unprepared readers.

That’s about as much warning as I can give.

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You Have Got to be Kidding Me.

This publication Serial Killers, by Robert Lean is offered as a collection of short stories. The subtitle Top 10 Aggressive Serial Killers on the Planet, Based on True Crime Stories leads us to believe we will read several stories. The table of contents lists four chapters, so it seems we will be doubling up here a bit. The subtitle does say “on the planet,” so I guess we are supposed to excuse the situation where in chapter four, the killers are actually extraterrestrials responding to orders from some headquarters on another planet.

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Legal Corruption

An Innocent Client by Scott Pratt is available as a Kindle unlimited selection.

All Joe Dillard wanted was to have one innocent client before he got out of the lawyer business. He planned to get out one way or another by the following year, but he wanted to end his legal career on a high note. He had been disappointed many times in his legal career. He believed that everyone deserved a good defense and he maintained the fiction that his clients were innocent. At least until he met Billy Dockery. Dillard got his client acquitted. A few months later Dockery gave him a large sum of money as a bonus; the money he stole from the woman he killed. Confidence in the system began to erode for Dillard. His faith in his profession continued to be shaken by the quality of cases he was assigned by several justices; those who hated Joe and loved to give him dodgy cases.

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Mind and Body; Abstract and Reality

This is a collection of short stories. Mind and Body by Lucas Carpenter is a book I received from the Library Thing Early Reviewer Program in return for a review. The first three stories possess their own appeal; there is not much of a link to what follows. But starting with PERIMETER look for the linking devices of Stafford College and a character name Rutledge. It will be fun.

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Violence and War in Lesser Developing Countries

This is a collection of short stories that I received from the Library Thing Early Reviewer Program in exchange for a review. The book is Dangerous Obsessions by Bob Van Laerhoven. My comments are about each story. Some of them are translations; some were written in English by the author.

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