Moe Howard Died For Our Sins (英語) ペーパーバック – 2004/9/30
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Dale Andrew White is a two-fingered typist and part-time iconoclast whose short fiction has appeared in Modern Short Stories, Comic Relief, Beyond Science Fiction & Fantasy and numerous other periodicals.
* I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
The stories were mostly funny and engaging, with some great gags and punchlines throughout. A couple of the stories I couldn’t quite figure out if I understood the joke, but then on second thought I think I recognized that the piece wasn’t racist or unclear, but the mirror was being held to a particular angle of American Society I don’t give much thought to.
I really enjoyed some pieces. Overall the Magical Realism, when presented, was beautiful and effective, such as in Lunacy Grounded and A Taste of Palp. The titular story of Moe Howard was a fun poke at gag comedy and higher education. Mightier Than The Sword hit publishing hard, and The Twiddlebum Method did the same for education. Behind the Throne was a great piece of satire that hit a lot of groups where it hurts, from the church to celebrity. Kiss of Knowledge was an indictment of war, childhood, and rule. I believe that my favorite pieces in the collection were Lunacy Grounded and the hilarious Life of The Party.
My only gripe about the works as a whole - and a gripe enough to call it four stars instead of five and the difference between my loving them and just enjoying them - is the fact that the voice in the stories does not change at all. In my realm, I read not just for the story, but for the writing itself, and when I read a collection I expect there to be some variation of tone, atmosphere, and diction depending on the story’s characters and themes. In this case, there was no variation. I will say it works in terms of keeping the stories together in one collection, but I do wonder in examining the other works of this author if he writes like this all of the time, or just for this particular group of stories. If so, that might be one joke I do not get.
Great collection, well-edited and formatted, and artwork could be more engaging - but I don’t read books for the cover.
The stories are extremely imaginative and well written. The prose flows well, using unique words and metaphors in each story to great effect. While some stories are from third-person perspective and others from first-person, the "tone" of the stories is more or less the same. There should be more variation in the type of language used, literary devices, etc between short stories. The stories can also reflect certain aspects of our society and culture, and sometimes they deal with racism or addiction, for instance. Not all of them shined, but I did enjoy many of the stories in the collection and don't feel like my time was wasted on any in particular. The cover is pretty plain, but I must say I was pleasantly surprised; don't judge this book by the cover!