Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Rusticles by Rebecca Gransden – Book Review

Book: Rusticles
(Short story collection)
Author: Rebecca Gransden
No. of pages: 80
Publication date: 8 July 2017


In Hilligoss, a tired man searches for a son, a flamingo enthrals the night, and fireworks light up the lost. In these stories and more, Rusticles offers a meandering tour through backroads bathed in half light, where shadows play along the verges and whispers of the past assault daydreams of the present. Walk the worn pathways of Hilligoss.

Book Review by Nadaness In Motion

Bordering on weird and strange fiction, Rusticles by Rebecca Gransden is a collection of 11 short stories. I have a few mixed feelings about this collection, whose author has requested an honest review.

I loved Gransden's writing style, imagery, and intermittent relatable philosophical ideas in the midst of the stories.

However, there were many stories where I didn't get the ending. I was fine until the last line then I was staring at my kindle wondering where I got lost. I'm ok with stories having an open ending, but having a no-ending or one that I don't understand, irritates me.

And that's happened several times while reading.

Although we don't the girl's name in "The Neon Black", the story is interesting and gives a sense of brotherly and sisterly love.

"Dried Peas on a Wall" is a long and uneventful short story with lots of description, especially at the beginning. There were some nice images though.

"You have to walk up the light concrete driveway and see the doorway, past the grasping thick grass and spindly black twigged thorny plants that reach up to your head, and further if you are a kid."

I liked the beginning of "The Serpentine" but was rather disappointed at the end. "The Serpentine" is a rock, which towards the end I had forgotten about. I felt the story needed a story.

"Dilapidated Flamingo" is the best story in the entire collection. A five-star one. The narrator is bit talkative but funny and the story is suspenseful and interesting.

It is about a boy who discovers a flamingo in his backyard and attempts to befriend it but when he goes to search for it, he can't find it.
"I'd have to do flamingo research. Find out what makes a flamingo tick."

"The Boy at the Table" has a lot of description and an eerie setting and feel to it. It was interesting up until the end, which I didn't get.

"Blue and Black" is another interesting story, perhaps with a bit of science-fiction or scientific phenomenon. Kept me on edge for most of it.

"Dreams of his Skin" is one of the best stories in the Rusticles collection. A sad one but very well-written and a joy to read. It is a passion-filled, highly recommended story.

"I adore this man looking straight at his flaws, would dissolve myself, annihilate everything I am for him, but who wants to look at love in that form, especially when it cannot be returned?"

"Miles" was a tough read, primarily because the story is one LOOOOONG sentence! Yes, you read that right. One sentence. I skimmed it at first to be sure my eyes weren't skipping full-stops.

On a second read, however, I felt it read like a rap song. It had a strong flow to it. And I liked it, although it nearly got my brain fried.

Gransden is lauded for this experimental story.

"Downstairs" is the last story in the collection. "Miles" and "Downstairs" are the only two stories in the collection that need to be read after each other, that relate to each other basically.

The characters talk about "Miles" from the previous story. "Downstairs" moves pretty well until the end, which, too, I didn't get.

There are other pieces in the collection that I did not mention here.

I'm not sure if that ending thing is my problem alone or if other readers have had a similar issue. I'm not keen on endings I don't understand, and that bothered me while reading.

Still, I must note in all fairness that Rebecca Gransden's writing style is interesting. It's different, the way she, as an author, looks at things, talks about situations, and so on.

Overall rating: 2.5-3 stars

I've previously featured Rebecca Gransden on Nadaness In Motion with an excerpt from her debut novel Anemogram.

Note: I received a free copy of Rusticles from its author Rebecca Gransden in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author:
Rebecca Gransden is an author from the south coast of the United Kingdom. After many years writing short stories for her own amusement she finally got around to writing her first full length novel, anemogram. Her writing focuses on fringe voices, and the natural world has a great influence over her output. Having lived by the sea all her life, she is drawn to the edges of things. She actively supports indie and self-published authors and is encouraged by the energy of this scene. Currently sitting on several projects, she hopes to have more writing available soon.

Connect with Rebecca Gransden via her blogGoodreadsTwitterFacebook and Amazon.

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