Rating: 5 out of 5
Here we are again, folks! Time for another collection of shorts by the incomparable Michael Crane.
Just as with the first volume, Lessons, Lessons II contains upwards of twenty-five "drabbles", complete stories told in exactly 100 words. Also as with the first book, every story the author crafts is entertaining and well worth the read. They suck you in immediately and then punch you in the gut.
I don't know if people really understand how hard it is to write these types of stories. One has to create atmosphere and characterization using an economy of words. And yet here it's pulled off beautifully.
In many ways a collection like this is like a songbook. You have different stanzas and verses, all reflecting a similar theme in different ways. There is horror and comedy, and a twist at the end of nearly every one. From "Solution" (my favorite) to "Punishment", they're small illustrations of everyday problems solved in the most extreme and brutal of ways.
In other words, this is a damn good little collection. My only hope is that the author will start putting out longer works, because his voice needs to be heard in a more fleshed-out format. I, for one, would line up to buy it.
Two great big severed thumbs up from me!
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