THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK IN THE WORLD by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt is a collection of eight novellas that focus on the darkness within us all & the ability for redemption.

Title: THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK IN THE WORLD: Eight Novellas


Translated from the French by: ALISON ANDERSON   

Author: ERIC-EMMANUEL SCHMITT 

Type of Book: SOFTCOVER  

Genre: NOVELLAS, SHORT STORIES

Length: 181 PAGES   

Publisher: EUROPA EDITIONS   

Release Date: 2009

ISBN: 978-1-9933372-74-7 

Price: $15.00 USD / $18.00 CAN

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟


MY REVIEW:


STORY # 1 – WINNIPEG WANDA

“Wanda had already figured out that she would make it on her own … Wanda concluded that it was through men that she would make her way in life.”

Seemingly cold and calculated, Wanda Winnipeg is a thrice-divorced multimillionaire. She both demands and commands attention and respect wherever she goes. Disdain is her go-to emotion.


STORY # 2 – FINE RAINY DAY

“Hėlène could not remember having ever experienced a perfect moment.”

No one and nothing was ever good enough for her. That is, until she met Antoine, whose love for her  changes everything. Or does it?


STORY 3 – THE INTRUDER  

Odile Versini is sure that she has just seen a woman in her apartment and not only that, but that the intruder stared right at her. Odile calls the police and stays on the phone until they arrive. However, by the time they get there the woman has somehow slipped out of the apartment.

This happens several times and Odile cannot fathom what this woman wants, why she keeps returning and exactly how she is able to get away each time. But she is determined to put a stop to it once and for all.

 STORY #4 – THE FORGERY

This story, although it might not seem so at first, is all about perceptions.

 

STORY # 5 – EVERY REASON TO BE HAPPY


Just because all your friends and acquaintances say that you every reason to be happy, does not guarantee that you are.


STORY # 6 – THE BAREFOOT PRINCESS

Appearances can be deceiving.


STORY # 7 – ODETTE TOULEMOND

Perhaps happiness and fulfillment can come from unexpected places.


STORY # 8 – THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK IN THE WORLD

This story is the best one out of the eight and is set in a Russian gulag housing female political dissidents in the 1950s.


OVERALL

This collection of novellas is full of stories that prove that author Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt is a supremely talented writer who is able to connect with readers all over the world. He has his finger firmly placed on the pulse of the human condition which enables his stories to mean different things to different people.

I have read many short story anthologies but this one is the most unique. I recommend this collection to anyone who enjoys literary fiction.

The novellas were originally written in French and have been translated into English by the gifted translator Alison Anderson. She has used her impressive talents to allow the reader to still experience the richness of a foreign culture while being able to stay true to the author’s vision.

I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars and I encourage everyone to pick up a copy of this book. In fact, it would make a unique Christmas gift for the book lover in your life. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

 

ERIC-EMMANUEL SCHMITT –  playwright, novelist, and author of short stories, was awarded the French Academy’s Grand Prix du Théâtre in 2001.

He is one of Europe’s most popular authors. His many novels and story collections include The Most Beautiful Book in the World (Europa Editions 2009) and The Woman with the Bouquet (Europa Editions 2010). 


Visit the author’s official web site

    


ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR:

ALISON ANDERSON  is the author of the forthcoming novel The Summer Guest.

She spent many years in California; she now lives in a Swiss village and works as a literary translator.

Her translations include The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, and works by Nobel laureate J. M. G. Le Clézio. She has also written two previous novels and is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Literary Translation Fellowship.

She has lived in Greece and Croatia, and speaks several European languages, including Russian.

Visit her official website HERE.  

3 Stars for THE BUNNY MAN by Richard Poche – BOOK REVIEW

Title: THE BUNNY MAN 

Author: RICHARD POCHE

Type of Book: EBOOK

Genre: FICTION, HORROR 

Length: 76 PAGES

Publisher: AMAZON DIGITAL SERVICES

Release Date: MARCH 8, 2016

ASIN: B01CQIUGXY  

Price: $3.98 or Free on KindleUnlimited (EBOOK)

Price: $10.46 CDN (PAPERBACK) 

Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟


MY REVIEW:

This Ebook is novella length and is only 76 pages long.

A group of five friends have just graduated high school and they know that soon, their clique will be breaking up and they will be heading off to different colleges.

They decide to have one last adventure together before they have to start acting like adults and begin working towards their individual futures.

As Todd, Royce, Sabrina, Lauren and Kevin head into the mountains to begin their camping trip, they run over something on the road. When they get out to look, they realize that they hit a dead deer. But what the heck is a dead deer doing on the road? And, who left it there.

Kevin jokingly suggests that the deer was killed and left there by the “BUNNY MAN.” When the others look at him for an explanation, he tells them that The Bunny Man is an urban legend that refers to a man living “… out here in the woods that wears a bunny costume and chases people down with an axe. Sometimes he gets bored and kills deer.”

Obviously, not a single one of them believes that the Bunny Man exists. And what happens next seems like too much of a coincidence to be real.

A young woman emerges from the trees near where the five friends are discussing the urban legend. She “had a crazed, exhausted look in her eye. Half-naked… she looked caught in a halfway point between drug-induced hysteria and real fear.”

She rambles on about her boyfriend being attacked by a man wearing a bunny mask. Obviously, she is just plain crazy. Her story can’t be true? Or is it?

The storyline reminds me of a 1980s B rated horror film where the actors always run away from safety and end up twisting an ankle in the woods. The story, just kike those movies, is not even remotely believable.

Is it entertaining? Yes! But it definitely wilk not be winning any awards.

The fact that this book is only 76 pages means tl (in my opinion) that it should have been easier to edit and proofread than a full-length book. But, this seems not to be the case. When I started reading I was initially taking notes and writung down each error, however, I quickly realized that if I were to continue that practice, that it  would take many, many hours to get through THE BUNNY MAN. There are multiple editing and/or proofreading errors on EVERY page of this novella. I found it supremely distracting. Just to highlight my point, here is one example:

“The two remained locked in the kiss, pressing themselves against each tight.”
– It is obvious that the author should have used the word “tightly” rather than “tight.”

Because of these errors as well as the lack of both world-building and character development, I rate THE BUNNY MAN as 3 out of 5 Stars. 🌟🌟🌟 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Richard Poche is a writer, a director and a filmmaker. He has directed numerous horror and sports films including the award winning boxing documentary “The Fight Life.”

He is the author of two novels and numerous novellas including “When Elves Die”, “Carnivores”, and “Howl.”

To learn more about Richard Poche visit him online: 

OFFICIAL WEBSITE 
TWITTER 

FACEBOOK  

GOODREADS   

5 Stars well deserved for “NINE FINGERS: The Tucson Ripper” by Tony Bowman- BOOK REVIEW

  
Title: NINE FINGERS: The Tucson Ripper 

Author: Tony Bowman

Type of Book: eBook

Length: Novella

Genre: Paranormal Fiction 

Release Date: October 2014 

Publisher: Dark Alley Publishing

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 
⚡️ Please be aware before reading this novella that it contains some graphically violent scenes that may be disturbing to some readers. “Nine Fingers: The Tucson Ripper” is (in my opinion) meant for mature readers ages 18 and up. ⚡️

❗️Right now this novella is available FREE on both Amazon.com and Amazon.ca as well as on Wattpad. 

This is the third work of fiction by Tony Bowman that I have had the pleasure of reading and reviewing. The first was a paperback copy of “THE ROAD” which is one the best post-apocalyptic books I have ever read. If you are aware of how many books and audiobooks I read in a single year, then you will realize that for me to rate a book that highly, it has to be very special. You can read a copy of my review of THE ROAD on my blog. I also read his amazing collection of short stories published in an anthology entitled “MORGUE DREAMS AND CURIOUSER THINGS” which I also rated as 5 out of 5 stars. 

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK FROM THE AUTHOR’S BLOG:

The story of Nine Fingers does not begin in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, it begins in the south side of Tucson, Arizona.

Rodrigo Diaz has gone insane. At night, he prowls the streets of the south side, ripping his innocent victims to shreds in back alleys.

During the day, he torturers and devours others he has abducted.

The police believe he is a serial killer. But, he is actually something far worse: Rodrigo Diaz is a werewolf.

Ward Rickman has come to Tucson to track down an old friend – track him down and kill him.

Because Ward knows something the police don’t: It takes a werewolf to stop a werewolf.

EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK:

“Loud noises bothered Rodrigo Diaz. He hadn’t always been so sensitive, but that had been before. Everything was different now.

    The high pitched screams cut through his brain like an ice pick through his eye. “For the love of God, will you shut up?”

    There was a whining noise from the corner of the room. Rodrigo didn’t look up, he was intent on slicing into the meat of the woman’s thigh without cutting into a vein. She could bleed out from such a wound, and the succulent taste of the meat would be ruined.

    “You’re a monster,” the other girl said, she of the high pitched scream. 

    He laid the filleting knife down and looked at her. 

MY REVIEW: 

There are only so many adjectives that can be used to describe any book. “Nine Fingers: The Tuscon Ripper” deserves to have every positive adjective used to describe it and possibly even have some brand new adjectives created just for it.

Here are just a few of the things I loved about this book: 

~ Thrilling: this novella will get your heart pumping as you read. Will Ward be able to stop Rodrigo before another innocent victim falls prey to his bestial whims? 

~ Riveting: I do not believe it is possible to put this book down once you begin reading. I read it from start to finish in a single session.

~ Intense: The action begins immediately and is non-stop. 

~Great Character Building: Usually novellas do not contain enough detail for the reader to feel like they really know the characters. This is not the case with “Nine Fingers: The Tucson Ripper”. Tony Bowman has done an outstanding job of making his characters seem real, therefore his readers become invested in the outcome of the story. 

~ I really liked the book’s ending. Not only did it neatly wrap up this portion of the story, but also created a burning desire to find out what happens next, without leaving the reader frustrated by ending the book with a cliffhanger. 

I definitely HAVE TO get a copy of “NINE FINGERS” to discover the rest of Ward’s story. 

I rate the novella “NINE FINGERS: THE TUCSON RIPPER” as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

Put this book on your MUST READ list right away and don’t forget that you can pick up your copy right now for FREE on Amazon. Tony also has three of his works available for free on Wattpad

Also, check out this free audio narration: 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

  
Tony Bowman is a force in fiction writing. He has written several books in various genres. Check out his blog at http://thattonybowman.blogspot.ca 

MORE BOOKS BY TONY BOWMAN:

   

    
    
    
   

5 Big Stars for THE END OF SEEING by Christy Collins – BOOK REVIEW

  
Title: THE END OF SEEING

Author: Christy Collins

Type of Book: Softcover

Length: 190 pages

Genre: Literary Fiction

Publication Date: August 23, 2015

Publisher: Xoum Publishing 

ISBN: 978-1-921134-62-3 (Print)

ISBN: 978-1-921134-63-0 (EBook) 

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

~ I received a free copy of this book through the Goodreads Giveaway program. A review was not a requirement of receiving this book, but authors and publishers always appreciate honest reviews. 

THE END OF SEEING is the winner of the 2015 Seizure Viva La Novella Prize. 

“The buildings rise from the rain-blackened streets and office workers slip by leaving pieces of conversation in the air…”

Ana. Poor Ana. She has to be one of the unluckiest people alive. First, she loses her daughter in a tragic accident and next her photojournalist partner, Nick, goes missing and is presumed dead. 

Everyone, including the police and the rest of Nick’s family are convinced that he perished in a boating accident off the coast of Italy. 

But, no body has ever been found. Yes, his cellphone washed ashore, but there are lots of reasons his cellphone could be there without him.

Ana is determined to find out the truth and to prove that he is still alive. She sets out to follow his path and to trace his movements.

What she discovers along the way will surprise everyone.

This book is a literary masterpiece. 

It is written in delightfully descriptive prose that will resonate with readers of all ages. 

Ana’s desire to believe that Nick is still alive is 100% believable and totally understandable. I have always wondered how a person can possibly grieve and move on if no body is found. I believe that I would be just like Ana; thinking of all the possible (even if improbable) scenarios that could lead to someone’s disappearance. This is highlighted by Ana’s thoughts at the beginning of the book:

“We’re you on that boat? Did you get off alive? Did you think: now’s my chance to disappear, to escape the grief and guilt of Mia’s death? Did you mingle in a crowd, jump on a bus, and head for the mountains, cross the border on foot, without papers, like others on board had no doubt planned to do? Maybe you were unable to resist the power of your own story, seeing how far you could get, how long you could survive – earning black money or none at all, nameless and untraceable. Or are you maddened by an ordeal at sea? Perhaps you don’t know your own name… Perhaps you’re asleep in a youth hostel, bed springs creaking above and below you. Perhaps you’re dreaming of running a very long way without anything to stop you. While I, awake in the middle of the night, am dreaming still of you.”

The subject matter may seem bleak and dark at times, but the same can be said of reality. Everyone experiences times of darkness in their lives. Christy Collins has eloquently captured both the beauty and despair of the human condition and the endurance of hope when all seems lost. 

Christy Collins has an uncanny ability to say quite a bit by using few words. For example; interspersed amongst the details of Ana’s journey are random memories that pop into her mind. Here is one such memory: 

“I remember a summer holiday: no-one on the beach but the two of us. Evening waves repeated themselves softly on the shore. Beginning with the soles of my feet, you reminded me I was alive. Later: salt and sand swilled down the drain in the cracked-tiled bathroom in a cheap hotel. You reminded me again.”

Nowhere in the above narrative does it say that Ana and Nick made love, but the reader knows that this is what occurred. Also nowhere in this description does it mention how old they were when this event took place, yet, somehow, the way it is written evokes a vision in the reader’s mind of Nick and Ana in their youthful, carefree past; before adult and familial responsibilities changed their lives. Only a highly skilled and supremely talented author can say so much with so few words. 

I highly recommend this book and rate it is 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

Visit http://seizureonline.com/shop/the-end-of-seeing/ for more information as well as links to buy this amazing book online. 

  • FAVOURITE QUOTES FROM “THE END OF SEEING”

“Sometimes I felt like we were shipwreck survivors, washed up in Suburbia – living day to day and waiting for the rescuers to come and deliver us back to the country where our real lives were going on without us.”

“I look around the [hotel] room, not really expecting to find anything: hotel rooms like this one have no memory.”

“I’m on a mission no-one else believes in, and I’m not even sure I believe it myself. What was I expecting? Clues scrawled in blood on the hotel wall? Love letters jammed under sofa cushions: ‘Come find me, my love; we’ll both disappear’?”

“The day is clear and blue and emerald green. The smell of my sunscreen reminds me of summers past.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

  
Christy Collins is a writer, reader, film reviewer and PhD student at the University of Tasmania. The End of Seeing is published by Seizure and was a joint winner of the Viva la Novella Prize 2015.

To learn more about Christy Collins visit https://memoryanddistance.wordpress.com/ 

TOXIC LOVE by Jax Garren – BOOK REVIEW

22836233toxic love

TOXIC LOVE
By: Jax Garren

* I received a free copy of this book from http://www.netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.*

This is a unique book. It is published by SilkWords. “Silkwords is the go-to source for interactive women’s fiction.”

This book is like the choose-your-own-adventure stories that I remember reading as a kid. The introduction at the beginning of the book describes it best.

“Blurring the line between fiction and gaming, SilkWords offers quality romance and erotica that allows individual readers to choose how stories proceed.”

Wow! What a great idea. This is a unique reading experience and one that I highly recommend to everyone.

TOXIC LOVE is a novella about a woman named Chloe Parikh.

The air all across the United States is filled with Tox75, a poison which causes almost instantaneous death. Chloe has not been outside since she was three years old, back when the air was still clean enough to breathe.

Chloe has just moved to Las Vegas from Oklahoma City. She has taken the job of a performer. It took a lot of hard work and effort to obtain a one year visa to work in entertainment in Vegas and Chloe wants to make the visa permanent.

A freak event exposes Chloe to Tox75 and she finds out that she is one of a small number of people who are immune to the toxic air.

When GenFriends finds out about her immunity they offer her a permanent visa. They want her to partner with another immune and make babies. After four babies she can “retire” with a modest income.

Chloe must decide what to do.

It is at this point that readers must choose the direction the story will take. As the story progresses the reader must make more choices.

As a reader it can sometimes be frustrating when a character makes a decision that the reader disagrees with. This book gives the reader all the power.

I absolutely LOVED reading this novella and there was no way I could stop at reading it just once. I had to go back after finishing each version of the story & make different choices just to see what would happen.

It is not just the fact that readers get to make choices that makes TOXIC LOVE such a great read. It is also the quality of the writing and the fact that the romance is well written. I also admire the detail of the world the author was able to include in such a short span of time. I also love that the author calls the setting the atoxalypse rather than the apocalypse. Very clever!

I heartily rate this novella as 5 out of 5 stars.

To read the first chapter free online go to: https://www.silkwords.com/stories/toxic_love_novella.

To learn more about this author visit http://www.jaxgarren.com