Reviews by Jimmy

The Time Machine

by H.G. Wells

The powerful descriptions alone, especially towards the end, are staggering. Its almost hard to find words for it.

Reviewed on 2010.04.01

The Early Short Fiction of Edith Wharton

by Edith Wharton

A good introduction to Edith Wharton's work. This collection contains Mrs Mainstey's View, which is surely one of Wharton's best short stories and as good as any of Elizabeth Bowen's stories. It's a simply written but deeply moving story, with an ending that is inevitable yet none the less shocking for it. There is great empathy here in the characterisation. Wonderful stuff. Worth checking out just for that one alone. But this collection also has her better known stories The Bolted Door, Kerfol, and Dilettante. If you like these you should check out Ethan Frome, too.

Reviewed on 2006.04.17

Stranger Things Happen

by Kelly Link

This book is awful. I came to this book with high hopes after reading all the praise that preceded the contents and was sorely disappointed. Never has a collection produced such a strong dislike in me and wonderment at how or why writers/editors give such unjustified praise to a book that is mediocre or in this case downright awful. The book is a collection of short stories where supposedly strange things happen, as in the title. The first story is about a man who seems to be dead and what does he do with his time? Well, he wanders about on a beach and masturbates in a hotel room. That’s all. The story is a wash out, nothing happens in the end. Actually all of the stories just fizzle out to nothing, end up meaningless. After about the third story you start to wonder why you are bothering to read this stuff. I found myself confused most of the time, as to who was talking, who the writer was talking about, what was going on or supposed to be going on, and nothing seemed to make sense or add up. The writing jumps about all over the place, present tense one minute, past tense the next, jumps viewpoints left and right until you don’t know or care what is going on. I’m not against breaking convention, if it is done well it is great –and great writers have done it, Joyce etc- but it doesn’t come off in this collection, probably through inexperience, lack of skill, as it was the writer’s first collection. So I read the second story, hoping it would be better. The second story is about a boy and a girl and her weird parents (the father has fake noses and the mother a prosthetic leg, whoopee) but it ends up fizzling out and leaves you wondering what it was supposed to mean, if anything at all. The characters were badly drawn, the prose erratic and seemed to be a deliberate attempt to be modern but just ends up being confusing. The specialist hat is probably the most conventional of the stories (babysitter, something in the house etc.) but even here it fizzles out and is too vague to produce the frisson that it should. After this, I didn’t want to read on and when I did (only because I realised I wanted to let others know how bad this books was) the stories were so confusing that I found myself wondering where I was and where the characters were and what in the hell was going on and seriously wondering if there had been some really bad typos here somewhere. The characters all seem the same, the settings are unclear, the dialogue is stilted, the stories seem pointedly strange to the point of silliness. I’m still wondering if the awards that this collection received were all part of the fiction. Surely somebody’s idea of a joke! I really wonder.
An instantly forgettable collection of experimental stories. Too vague and confusing to be worth attempting to read through the swamp of nonsense. You’ll probably give up after the third one, like I did.

Reviewed on 2006.04.16

more reviews ->

login | register

User ID


reset password

Help ManyBooks by sharing this page!

See it as donating a moment of your social media time, every little thing helps us improve and stay online.

Featured Books

Cover image for - Reviewed Titles

Valkyrie's Vengeance

Loki's Wolves Book 0
Melissa Snark

Fans of paranormal and urban fantasy will enjoy... Read more

Cover image for - Reviewed Titles

The Titan Drowns: Time Travel Romance

New Atlantis Time Travel Romance Book 6
Nhys Glover


"Heroism and... Read more

Cover image for - Reviewed Titles

Helga: Out of Hedgelands

Wood Cow Chronicles Book 1
Rick Johnson

VOLUME ONE in the WOOD COW CHRONICLES series. <... Read more

Cover image for - Reviewed Titles


Nightmare of the Clans Book One
Pamela E. Cash

There are six secret clans across the world–Afr... Read more

Cover image for - Reviewed Titles

Mademoiselle At Arms

A Georgian Romance
Elizabeth Bailey

Set in the late Georgian era, Elizabeth Bailey’... Read more

Cover image for - Reviewed Titles

The Tales of Tim Hurtletuta - New Beginnings

Tales of Tim Hurtletuta Series, Book 1
Matthew James Wilkins

"Tim Hurtletuta has forgotten something. He can... Read more

Cover image for - Reviewed Titles

After the Cure

Deirdre Gould

Eight years ago the December Plague swept throu... Read more

Cover image for - Reviewed Titles

The Unveiling

Book One (Age of Faith 1)
Tamara Leigh

12th century England: Two men vie for the thron... Read more

Cover image for - Reviewed Titles

Healing Her Heart

Crystal Lake Series Book 1
Laura Scott

Dr. Gabe Allen has a rule about dating colleagues... Read more

Cover image for - Reviewed Titles

Never A Choice

The Choices Trilogy #1
Dee Palmer

Bethany Thorne has secrets and she’s told a few... Read more

(Promote your book here)



Join 120,000+ fellow readers! Get Free eBooks and book bargains from ManyBooks in your inbox. 

We respect your email privacy