Kindle Single Review: Fox 8 – A Story

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This is a very unconventionally written book, where the narrator is a fox who has recently learned human language and his story telling is characterized by improper grammar and abundant typos. Fox 8 is a story about a fox who gets exposed to humans and learns their language by listening to stories told by human mothers to their kids. When the jungle in which the fox lives is destroyed by the construction of a mall, the fox reaches out to humans to seek help, establish a fox-human connection. However, as he tries to come closer to them, the ugly side of humans is revealed, turning his life upside down.

As the fox says – “Why did the curator do it so rong, making the groop with the gratest skils the meenest?” So true.

Good and enjoyable, as well as thought-provoking.

Fox 8: A Story is a Kindle single written by George Saunders, the New York times best seller author of the short story collection – Tenth of December

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Kindle Single Review: In the Tunnel

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“There is light in the dark, too,” she said. “The kind you can’t see unless you’re in the dark.” – Excerpt from In the Tunnel by Takamichi Okubo

Two people are trapped in absolute darkness after their bus meets an accident midway in a long tunnel. One of them is on the verge of committing suicide, the other works as a councellor for a suicide prevention hotline. Most of the story is in the form of conversations between the two characters as they struggle to get out of the tunnel, filling fast with smoke after the accident and resulting fire/explosion. The author has brilliantly used darkness as a metaphor for the painful past of the survivors. Trapped, injured and with no immediate chance of rescue, there is still hope for them by the end of the story. Real hope – the kind which comes from within.

Takamichi is definitely an author to look out for.

Book Review: How Parking Enforcement Stole My Soul

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“…it’s the story of my journey of learning that a job is more than just a job. It affects who you are, your character” – excerpt from How Parking Enforcement Stole My Soul by Ben Friedrich

How Parking Enforcement Stole My Soul is the autobiographical story of how Ben’s life and character are affected because of his job as a parking enforcement officer – his transition from an easy-going and friendly person who was considered by mothers as an ideal companion for their homely daughters to being grumpy, sadistic and a jerk. On a broader level, it is about the stress and emotional turmoil which results from doing things in your job which your heart and soul are not in agreement with, and the impact it will have on your physical and psychological well-being.

It is an engaging and enjoyable book. The first person narrative is like having an intimate conversation with a friend over dinner or a cup of coffee. It is a frank and candid account of Ben’s experience, without any attempt to make him look heroic or good (self-glorification is one of the most common pitfalls of autobiographies – and Ben has done a good job of staying clear of it). Although, he is a good performing officer (in terms of number of tickets), he is not an ideal one. Description of his failed romances is also very real and honest – not overly melodramatic. Also, the story is sufficiently laced with humor and sarcasm which keeps it from being too emotionally laden.

By the end of the book the message is loud and clear – you life is too previous to waste on the wrong job. You may think that it is just about the hours you spend while on work. But it is much more than that. It effects you as a whole, it defines and shapes who you are. If you are in such a  situation, find an escape route. Sacrifice on material gains, if you must. Otherwise, momentary comfort may lead to life long regret.

PS: I received a complimentary copy of this book in order to review it

Kindle Single Review: Board Room Babies

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Board Room Babies is a pseudo-research study which proves that there is a lot of commonality between the behavior of babies and corporate head honchos.

Amazon.com editorial describes it as a “wickedly delightful satire”. Satire it is and a decent one, but not at all “wickedly delightful”. There are a some extremely funny moments. Like the one where there is a graph which compares CEO’s work product with baby shit. Or the one which talks about how nonsensical things said by both babies and CEOs are considered smart and remarkable. But these are too far (even considering the length of the book) and too few. The rest of the book is plain drab and boring. Some comparisons even feel stretched – like the one which relates CEO’s hair to baby hair. Remove some of these dull portions, what remains is genuinely funny and piquant commentary on the life style of the corporate moguls.

My verdict – decent but not awesome. Good writing, could have been made better with tighter editing.

Board Room Babies is a Kindle Single written by Stanley Bing.

Kindle Single Review: Don’t Eat Cat

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Quirky and unusual (which does not necessarily mean good), is how I would describe this story.

It is  a story of a man’s relationship with his girlfriend in a futuristic world where man and zombies coexist (mostly) peacefully.

The starting was good. Description of the future lifestyle was interesting, some portions were funny, but the end was a sure let down.

It am not sure what the story wanted to be: humorous? sc-fi? dystopian fiction? emotional drama? It tried being all and ended up being none.   Also, it would have been better if more time/ space would have been spent on developing the characters.

To summarize, this was not one of the better Kindle Singles I have read.

Don’t eat cat is a Kindle Single written by Jess Walter. Less than 22 pages in length, it can be easily completed in 30 mins.

Kindle Single Review: Everyone’s Reading Bastard

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What made me buy this one was the name of the story and the cover page. The name does not make sense at all and it compelled me find out more about the story. I had a couple of hours to spare and this 29 pager short story proved to be a perfect choice.

Its more of a slice of life story without a well defined start and ending, however the premise is very interesting. Its about a man whose ex-wife starts writing about him in a weekly column called “Bastard” (that explains the name – Everyone’s reading bastard). Its all about the trials and tribulations of this man as each week some of his most embarrassing secrets become public fodder. Funny and ironic at the same time, its the story of ones dirty linen gone viral.

Everyone’s reading bastard is a Kindle Single by bestselling author Nick Hornby.