on Feb. 17, 2016 :
When you pick up a free book you really have no reason to complain. You took a risk and now there you are looking at your Kindle or tablet screen in either indifference or anger. The Ball Washer is a collection of flash fiction stories that range from out right hilarity to cringe inducing. There's no middle ground in Manion's collection and that's not a bad thing. He offers no apologies and you shouldn't ask for them because the book is free. It's an opportunity to check out a new writer and if you don't like it well you're not out anything. I had actually read this awhile ago and thought I'd check it out again. Sometimes a book just deserves a second read.
Manion's collection isn't for everyone. Sometimes it's crude, and downright offensive, but not every book released is going to appeal to everyone. It's almost as if he just writes about the first thing that pops into his head. It makes sense when you read a story about a guy who finds random pubic hairs in sinks and realizes that someone is washing their balls in the sink. That's the first story mind you. It doesn't get any easier or less offensive. The thing to remember is that as long as the stories are good it doesn't matter how offensive or crude you are there's also an audience for your work. Manion's style is one of indifference. These are all very short so there's a lot of stories crammed into this collection.
As you read though the length of these stories is what really weighs it down. It just feels too long and sometimes you do hit a clunker of a story. It's expected with flash fiction but overall the good outweigh the bad and you wind up laughing out loud at a man trying out different handicaps for a week. Manion knows that he's never going to be a mainstream author and I don't think he cares as long as he connects with readers who share his sense of humor and don't mind that quite a few of his stories will no doubt offend someone. Regardless this is a freebie that introduces you to the writing of Lance Manion and it's not a bad intro just not for everyone.
(review of free book)
on March 28, 2013 :
So you like to read old Vonnegut? Watch Scrubs reruns? Enjoy irreverent, off-kilter humor that has an equal chance of being offensive or moving? One of the things I like best about this writer is his fresh, witty, thought provoking, sometimes offensive, sometimes touching take on life. Even as he claims to be a liar/storyteller, what he writes is very real and human. He manages to pull out thoughts that lurk in the dark/private recesses of our psyches and treat them with wit, self-deprecation, and heart. He says the point of his writing is to be a catalyst for people to think weirder. With a delicious improvisational, conversational style, he points out regular-joe inanities as well as fantastical possibilities. Based on the fact there’s a stunted adolescent in each of us, he utilizes vulgarity as a tool similar to George Carlin, with intelligence to back it up. Mainstream he’s not, but an audience he should have, in the same way Tom Robbins, Douglas Adams, and Kurt Vonnegut garnered attention: with wild words written well.
If you're looking to laugh out loud, cringe inwardly, or think weird thoughts, this book will help with all of the above. Intelligent potty-humor alongside heartfelt sentiments make this collection a must-read. Check out his blog and other books too and you will not be disappointed.
Check out Manion's fresh yet slightly odd take on both everyday and imaginary situations. You may laugh or cringe or both but you will not be disappointed. Check out his blog and other books too.
(review of free book)