Book title: Unspent Time
Author: Graham Parke
Publisher: OutskirstPress (pb) Amazon (eb)
Warning: reading this novel may make you more attractive and elevate your random luck by about 9.332%* (*These statements have not been evaluated by anyone of consequence.) If this catch line for Unspent Time gives you a giggle, you’re in for a treat.
Unspent Time is a collection of short stories and I loved it for its humour, originality and general craziness. If you have a prejudice against short stories, drop it and read this. It’s highly entertaining and the author’s commentary links the stories into a unified and satisfying whole.
The blurb is a good indicator of the subject matter, so I’ve included it here.
From the award winning author of ‘No Hope for Gomez!’ comes a collection of 20 impossible tales. Permeating the cracks between the past and the present is the realm of Unspent Time. Pockets of ‘should have been’s and ‘might have happened’s. Time that was allotted but never spent. In this realm we find the stories that could have been true. Such as the story of Kiala, whose aunt and caretaker disappears one day, leaving her as the sole Huntress to battle the giant octopi to feed her village. Or the revealing tale of Goki Feng Ho: the ancient Chinese art of decoding the meaning of car license plates. And the heartbreaking story of the man responsible for choosing the colors of the insides of your shoes. As he toils away in obscurity, his work impacts society in ways we’ll never fully comprehend. And let’s not forget the story behind Unspent Time itself, the metaphysical ramifications of which will leave the scientific community feeling mostly indifferent about it for decades to come…
Graham’s vibrant characters shine from the first page of each story. His sensitive portrayal hooks our empathy and makes them, and even their sometimes fantastical stories, very real. I love the way fantasy and reality play alongside each other in this collection, and like the best short stories, there’s more to them than just entertaining tales. For example, in the Goki Feng Ho story, a ridiculous system of decoding the meaning of car license plates takes on cultish overtones and makes us wonder at man-kind’s ability to find and defend meaning in all sorts of places.
I give this book 5 stars and add it to the Awesome Indies listing. I haven’t read No Hope for Gomez because it isn’t available on ebook, but if it’s anything like this, then I’d love to.
Buy it at Amazon for 99 c then email your receipt to the author to go into a draw to win …. (read on)
Get free books and win a Kindle Fire or a Kindle Touch
All entrants will get:
- An exclusive spin-off novelette (not available for purchase anywhere!)
- Making of Gomez: behind the scenes eBook
- Signature for their paperback or kindle edition
- Chance to win a Kindle Fire or a Kindle Touch
(Prizes can be traded for Amazon gift certificates if you already own them.)
Just email your receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org to enter.
Each purchase counts, so stock up on birthday presents (for people you don’t like that much, for instance) The discount ends today, but be sure to send the receipts no later than June 1st.
And then get by tweeting about your purchase:Tweet
Sound bites from Unspent Time:
“I’m looking into my past lives. I’m convinced some of them still owe me money.”
“I’m very polite by nature, even the voices in my head let each other finish their sentences.”
“I didn’t actually want to do it,” Kiala told the boy. “The universe just kind of conspired to force me to make a fool of myself. It does that quite a lot, actually.”
“Sadly, my socks are like snowflakes, no two are exactly alike.”
Here’s what reviewers had to say:
“A veritable page turner of nonstop laughs!” — Reader Views
“An unputdownable read. a Coens Brothers’ film in book form.” — BookReview.com
“Extremely witty and clever writing.” — California Chronicle
“A Party for your Brain!” — Warren Baxter