Thursday 13 October 2016

Reviews - Two by Teodor Reljic & Starve better by Nick Mamatas

Two books of two halves

Starve Better: Surviving the Endless Horror…

Nick Mamatas has written a book in two halves - Lies and Life. I read this for the Lies part - his advice to writers and there was plenty of inteersting advice from the writer and editor. I like that some of it chimed with my own writing, a celebration of ambiguity for example. Mamatas gained a bit of notoriety for earning money from writing term papers for students for money and the second half of the book, the starve better part, was how to earn fast cash as a writer. Some of which was morally er, ambiguous and I enjoyed that section a lot less.

Overall - if you are a writer you can live without this, but if you do happen to pick it up you may find something inside of use.

Cover by Pierre Portelli

Two by Teodor Reljic

Full disclosure - I was introduced to Teo by a mutual friend at the recent Fantasycon where he gave me a copy of his book.

 First things first - this is a beautiful book - the cover, the designs, the red tint to the pages - it's a visual delight. Luckily the story lives up to the promise of the outside - Reljic tells two tales (hence the title) at once, but in interspersed chapters - those following William and those following Vermillion, the protagonist of a story William's mother has been telling him. William and his parents are on their annual trip to Malta and when things go awry William retreats more and more into the Vermillion stories. The writing is dreamy, and poetic and often exquisite:

She lets words fall one by one, like they’re meant to die after they leave her mouth to be reborn in your mind.

William's POV is convincing and the story feels both complete and open, and there’s that ambiguity that I mentioned as recommended by Mamatas and I often explore in my own writing.

Overall - this is a book that will reward re-reading and is in a very appealing style. I really enjoyed it and look forward to seeing more from this author.

It is worth me stating, since there is a personal connection here, that plenty of people give me books to review, or I obtain books written by friends but I don't always fall in love with them enough to write a review.

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