Here's an idea of what to expect:Apocalypse Soup Kitchen – it’s the end of the world but not as we know it…Exit Strategy – what do you do when you simply can’t go on?Ground Control - a lone astronaut looks on as Earth is battered by natural and economic turmoil.The Vampire Dairies – an innocuous looking pun reveals something much darker.Duty – let's get medieval on your arHere's an idea of what to expect:Apocalypse Soup Kitchen – it’s the end of the world but not as we know it…Exit Strategy – what do you do when you simply can’t go on?Ground Control - a lone astronaut looks on as Earth is battered by natural and economic turmoil.The Vampire Dairies – an innocuous looking pun reveals something much darker.Duty – let's get medieval on your arse.Boredroom – for anyone who has ever been in a corporate meeting and wanted to be anywhere else.Fair Game – a back to basics creepy tale of a man with seemingly nothing to lose.Date Night - where's the line between sexy and plain old nasty?Supercide – who needs heroes anymore?Comic Con – to lighten the tone, a little at least. What's going on at the Comic Convention?...
|Title||:||Black no Sugar - 10 Short Stories|
|Number of Pages||:||497 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Black no Sugar - 10 Short Stories Reviews
Black no Sugar is a collection of nine short stories by A.W. Wilson, a self-published author, containing some bleak, pithy, funny, and well-crafted prose. I have read it slowly, one or two stories at a time, because (as promised) each story is like a dose of hot and bitter brew. In fact, that is just how I prefer my coffee, and it was the title, along with the hilarious image of a much-overused Munch painting on a Starbucks take-away cup (I’d thought I’d never see a fresh re-frame of that, but life is full of surprises) that made me decide to give the stories a try. I figured that anyone who could come up with that idea would be worth devoting some reading time to. Still, like espresso shots, you cannot down one after another, all in one sitting, and not expect your nerves to be shattered afterwards; so, I have proceeded with caution.A.W. Wilson’s stories are refreshing in their intelligence, style, and wit. They are not filled with extraneous guff, screaming out for an editor who can spell and who has a grasp of English grammar. Clearly, they are not written by someone who has never read any good books himself, and Mr. Wilson’s admiration for Bradbury shines through. So, you are safe to open the cover, gentle readers, as these stories will neither make your eyes bleed from clawing at them in disbelief, nor your brain shut down, in order to protect itself against losing IQ points with every page turned.Well, none of this will occur in response to the author’s writing style, anyway. The content may cause a variety of reactions, which are unpredictable. I recommend avoiding this collection if you are in the grip of a depressive episode or slogging your way through a dark, cold winter. This is a compliment to Mr. Wilson, as I found that some of his stories lingered with me in such a disturbing way that I was sorry I’d read them just before bedtime. In short, they pack a punch.The first story, "The Apocalypse Soup Kitchen," is funny and, while bleak, it is bleak in a way that doesn’t clutch at your soul. The humour helps to deflect the devastation, in a story that might otherwise feel utterly devoid of hope, and the protagonist seems clever enough that we think he might just possibly-maybe find a way out of his desperate situation. Several of the stories which follow are like a river that is calm and quiet on the surface, but roiling dangerously in its depths.At his best, Mr. Wilson gives us first-person accounts of protagonists facing immediate personal crises. They are people dealing with problems that feel, and sometimes are, insurmountable. These problems vary enormously in their threat to personal integrity and survival: one man struggles to cope with the hours-long, existential death grip of a corporate meeting; another is devastated when the attempted solution to his dilemma fails, tragically and irredeemably; another copes by focusing on just one thought at a time, enough to get him through the next moment of his life, in order to carry out the horrific duty that has been entrusted to him; and another quietly goes though the motions of his banal daily routine, to avoid contemplating the profound truth that he has been abandoned by all mankind.The stories are linked in subtle, as well as more overt, ways; one of which is that the characters all focus on what they have to do, here and now, this very moment, to survive as a whole person, or a good person, or any kind of person at all (in some cases). In at least one of the stories, we get a happy ending, but that’s not really the point of A.W. Wilson’s writing. He is asking us to sit with him for a while, over a cup of our favourite acidic beverage, and ponder some of the most disturbing questions about being human, creatures who share the same drives as most other animals, while being blessed and cursed with self reflection.Directly and indirectly, we are invited by the author to consider a whole slew of potentially distressing thoughts about ourselves and our relationships: Whom do you love? For whom would you kill, or die? Is your desire to survive so strong that there is no one you would not sacrifice in hopes of gaining another day for yourself? Are you sure about that? How much have you learnt about yourself through your mistakes? Or, like many or even most of us, do you just keep repeating them, the lessons eluding you for all practical purposes? Are there fates worse than death, personal Hells in which we wallow for eternity? Or, does death bring an end to us once and for all?These themes are explored in a tone that is unmistakably British: acerbic, restrained, dryly humorous, stoic. If you miss the humour in this book, you miss everything, because it’s the only light shining in an otherwise long, dark night. My hope for A. W. Wilson’s future writing is that he might grace us with some elements of what is kind, good, and redemptive in the human spirit; that he might offer us his talents with a bit more warmth and heart, still balanced by the cold eye he casts on life, on death.
A note from the authorAs the name suggests there are nine stories and they’re mostly on the dark side. And the coffee reference also nods to the fact that the entire collection costs less than a cup of coffee in most high street chains.I meant them to be thought provoking and perhaps a little shocking because I love stories that stay in your mind long after you’ve read them. Will Self, Robert Sheckley and the master, Ray Bradbury (may he rest in peace), all wrote short stories that I read years ago and still lurk in the back of my mind, surfacing occasionally to nudge me in the ribs and say “Remember me? Quite an idea wasn’t I? Ponder on me for a bit.” And I’m happy to oblige.Some of the stories in my new collection are funny, some are moving, some are sad as all hell and some are a mixture of all the above and more. If they make the reader feel something as a result then I’m happy. And if that sounds pretentious so be it, it’s the truth.And yes, I shamelessly gave it 5 stars!