Cauli Le Chat

Cauli Le Chat
Cauli Le Chat, MPL Roving Reporter

Monday, November 28, 2011

Three Very Quirky Tales

E-books have democratized publishing, particularly in the vanity press arena.  It is expensive to print books.  For vanity presses, the initial investment deters many would-be novelists (or even nonfiction authors) because the price tag can be a tad steep.  With digital books, however, there is minimal cost, either for the publisher or the writer. Consequently, more people are being published than ever before.  That may not necessarily be a good thing, since some works are badly organized, insufficiently researched, and horribly written.

Fortunately, there are many occasions when an excellent writer produces an e-book masterpiece (or several, if s/he is really good, like Karen McQuestion or Sparkle the Designer Cat).  Superb authors will always find a venue for their books, whether print or electronic.  Readers will find them on bestseller lists or online sales rankings, such as those Amazon.com tracks.

When I came across 3 Very Quirky Tales, by Randy Attwood (2011), which was published by Attwood Consulting and distributed through Amazon Digital Services, I was frankly suspicious.  This sounded like typical vanity press to moi.  But you can't tell a digital book by its cover, because it doesn't actually have one--not printed on cardboard, anyway. So I borrowed an Amazon Kindle and gave the e-book (ISBN 978-0-9837763-4-5) some of my precious time.  It was well worth it.


Attwood offers three strange stories:  "Tell Us Everything," "It Was Me (I)," and "The Notebook."  They are quick reads, to be sure.  You may find yourself wishing that the tales continued longer.  But there is a satisfying story arc provided in each tale.

3 Very Quirky Tales lives up to its title.  Attwood's writing style is quite easy-going and conversational.  The stories are imaginative, unpredictable, and surprising.  The plot twists will keep you guessing, even puzzled, and there will be some totally unexpected outcomes.  You will also find humor (some dark and irreverent) embedded with the drama and the science fiction/fantasy elements.  There are mysterious aspects that filter through the characters' interactions.  Ironies abound. One cannot pigeonhole this tri-fold collection of short tales into a particular genre.  For a short work, it covers many bases.

The author has characters using profanity freely, so this book may best be appreciated by adults and older teens who are hardened to such language. There were some editing mistakes that bugged me, such as "breaks" instead of "brakes," but this sort of thing happens with self-publishing. Editors can be most helpful.  That's why I have two on my staff.

I recommend the book because it is entertaining and imaginative.  More sensitive readers may find some of the characters (as well as the humor or dialogue generally) to be rather harsh and jarring, and, if so, they may wish to check out this book through their libraries' digital collections rather than purchase a copy.  A Kindle edition was free from Amazon.com, at least earlier today, so price certainly was no barrier.  The regular price was nominal, so it might be easier and faster just to purchase a copy from Amazon.com.  It's your call.




I Need My Own Kindle, Boss Lady--Just Saying,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Digital Books News Beat


P.S.  The second short story in 3 Very Quirky Tales reminded me of "I'm My Own Grandpa," a novelty song written by Dwight Latham and Moe Jaffe, and performed by Lonzo & Oscar in 1947.  Ray Stevens recorded a cover version (included on his 1987 album, Crackin' Up), for which there is this video (with helpful diagram to clarify the confusing lyrics).  As a hypothetical genealogy case, it's certainly quirky.





1 comment:

  1. Cauli, you flatter me! My human has recently discovered that she can borrow ebooks from our local library on Kindle, and she is currently looking at checking out a few noir classics, for inspiration.

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