“Death is not the opposite of life, but a part of it.”
― Haruki Murakami
A fitting quote to begin a review of “The Collection: Flash Fiction & Short Stories” by G. Edward Smith, Death is indeed a part of life. In the ten flash and short stories included in this macabre tome, Death is examined from many different points of view. Each of these weird tales has a twist. They may be ironic, a cruel twist of fate, gruesome and quite often thought-provoking. Unless you are a member of the Addams Family, you will not find humor.
Within these stories, Death plays many roles, from the main character to an interested observer. While never personified, Death is the common element woven throughout these stories. Human frailty, capriciousness, and cruelty carry us into tales of cannibalism, fraud, irony, and shape-shifting monsters.
As with any anthology or collection, quality varies. While the writing has moments of brilliance in many of its plot twists, a couple of the stories are stiff. The plot forced to fit a mold rather than flow naturally. Still, overall the stories keep you engaged. Editing is better than many self-published books. More editing would have served the author well. There were times I stumbled on a sentence because of the wrong word. In each case, what presented as a word out of place. They are words spellcheck alone would not catch, my for may or on for one, as examples. There are a few places a change of punctuation might have made a sentence read smoother. Yet the story still pulls you back into it.
For any flaws, this is an enjoyable read. Being a short read, even with interruptions, I finished it within two hours. It would be an excellent book to curl up with a cup of hot tea on a rainy day. Thematically, this book is definitely for mature audiences only.
Would I recommend “The Collection: Flash Fiction & Short Stories” by G. Edward Smith, yes. This book is especially suited for those lovers of weird tales, the macabre, and those who enjoy questions to ponder.
DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for writing an honest review. I was not obligated to give a positive review, and all thoughts are my own.
Thank you for reading,