If you are looking for intelligent erotica, this is the book for you. I wasn't sure at first I should write a review, considering one of the stories is mine, but I can comment on the whole collection. The stories are well written and incredibly varied: from past to present, realism to fantasy, heartbreaking to funny, hetero to gay, discreet to explicit. It was my first foray into writing erotica and I was hesitant about having it published. However, after seeing the quality of the other stories, I am thrilled to have mine in such good company in this well-produced anthology.
This is my favourite Stringybark anthology so far because, if I had to choose one word to describe it, it's REAL. I read because I want to not be alone inside my head for a short while - that dual curse and gift of homo sapien's self-awareness and intelligence.
These stories all breathe humanity and Australian-ness, if there's any such thing. By now I know to leave Kerry Cameron's contribution (About Time) till last, not just in the spirit of eating my greens first and saving the potatoes and gravy for the end, but also because I know I won't be able to read further through the tears. And this time there were so many other writers following in her footsteps and shredding my heart-strings; such as Eloise Verlaque (Ones Left Behind), Barbara Lello (Living Treasure), Graeme Simsion ((Confession in Three Parts) and Peter Bishop (Elena).
This book is about being human; the joys and sorrows,love and loss. A mighty read! And Graham Parks: if I were single, you would have that date Saturday night. What great chutzpah to advertise in your bio - love it!
What a marvelously eclectic collection of stories! Some are heartwarming, others thought-provoking, unexpected, haunting. Some made me laugh and others I identified with so strongly, I was annoyed I hadn't written them. The micro-fiction scattered throughout were like chocolate biscuits hidden under cake. A great read. Couldn't put it down.
"Hitler Did It" captured me from its very first story: “Connecting Corridors” by Jemma van de Nes. How is it possible to read a story with a happy ending and still feel your heart has broken? Christian Cook’s “Some Corner of a Distant Field” glows with a lyrical love of the land at the beginning, so its progression is a rude shock that you keep resisting, right until the end. The whole anthology is full of delightful or devastating surprises. Nan Doyle’s “The Miracle” is a nativity story even an atheist can enjoy and I had no idea where John Poole’s “Just a Notch” was heading. His description, “Sydney’s jacaranda skies” vividly reminded this accidental migrant of the beginning of my love affair with Australia. Then it ended up in a place I learned about in the newspapers, and had tried to forget ever since. If you want marvellous stories told in powerful language, yet typically Aussie understated emotion, read this book.