Rating: 1.2 out of 5
When folks send work for me to consider reviewing, I usually read the first bit of the sample to decide if I’d like to carry on with it. Most of the time, my initial assumption based on the text is correct and I enjoy the experience. Other times (and these are in the minority), I’m dead wrong.
Closing My Eyes Helps Me See Clearly, which is a compilation of two short stories by Kipp Poe Speicher, is the latter.
The first short story, which I assume is the title piece, is the tale of a man who wakes in a dream world that is falling apart. It begins with a description of the world told through the eyes of a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis, which is what drew me into the piece to begin with. It then moves along to the viewpoint a man who watches a little girl being run over. He goes to help her, only to find that no one seems to care.
The story progresses, and eventually ends, and we discover that everything happening up to that point is a dream and what is actually occurring is the end of our universe. It doesn’t really have a plot…more of a stream-of-consciousness like prose, which I do appreciate at times. However, I feel the author’s ability wasn’t up to the challenge and I came away feeling a bit blech about it. Not always a good sign when trying to lure someone in with a short story – though I feel, with a good deal of work, this could be turned into a piece of some power.
Then came the second tale, and I actually wished for that blech feeling to return.
Gas For Grass, the aforementioned second story, begins with a dream that is nothing but a graphic description of a sexual act, and moves on, once the main character wakes up, to become the most disgusting and pointless revenge fantasy I’ve ever read. There is absolutely no purpose to the story, other than to describe the ways one person can do horrendous things to another for no reason whatsoever. There is not a single redeeming quality. It has nothing to say, no theme, and if the author wanted to construct a disturbing allegory on the state of the world, he failed. It’s simply disgusting, bigoted, and, as I said before, pointless.
Now, all of this would be well and good, with both stories, if they were written well. Then, at least, there would be something positive to take from the second one. But they aren’t. The author has no concept of sentence structure or punctuation, no sense of dialogue, no sense of building a proper arc. As far as ideas, as I said, the first story shows great potential. I wish the author would’ve stuck with that tone and decided to expand on it rather than add the second story, because it drives the rating way, way down.
Do you agree with me? Find out for yourselves.
Closing My Eyes Helps Me To See Clearly
Plot - 6
Characters - 4
Voice - 6
Execution - 3
Personal Enjoyment – 5
Overall – 24/50
Gas For Grass
Plot - 0
Characters - 0
Voice - 0
Execution - 0
Personal Enjoyment - 0
Overall – 0/50
Combined Overall – 24/100 (1.2/5)
Purchase Closing My Eyes Helps Me to See Clearly for the Amazon Kindle