Friday, November 11, 2011

The New Death and Others - a review

Though I usually don't do reviews, I thought this was a nice chance to mix this blog up a bit.

So, The New Death. It's a collection of short stories and vignettes, 94 pages long.
It also contains a few poems, of which Under the Pyramids (based on the H.P. Lovecraft/Harry Houdini story) was my favourite. This poem, and other gems like The Face in the Hill, Rumpelstiltskin, The Jeweled City, The New Death are the best parts of the book, and I heartily recommend buying and reading the ebook for those stories alone.

However, even Under the Pyramids has a problem that pervades the whole book, however. The quality is very variable, which makes me think that Mr. Hutchings could use a good editor. As it is, there are some stories that seem to be there just for the sake of it. This, however, wouldn't bother me nearly as much if it weren't for the good ones. Especially in the case of the poems. It is extremely jarring to read excellent, flowing verse, only to come to a part that uncomfortably stumbles on the words. I think the book would be better off with careful cultivation and cutting of the worse material. Sometimes less is more.

Though the main cause of this problem is that the book's style is all over the place, which is not a bad thing in itself. I can easily see that some parts that didn't appeal to me would appeal to another. The bright side is that this allows almost anyone to find something they like.

The New Death and Others costs 99 American cents and can be bought at Amazon or Smashwords. I recommend reading the preview pages at Smashwords, though it doesn't have some of the best parts of the ebook. Overall, I'm glad I read this.

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