Li Xian Ng
My genres are Contemporary/Surrealism, Magical Realism, Historical Fiction, Satire, the weird, absurd
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Smashwords book reviews by Li Xian Ng
It Smells Like Plastic and Hurt Feelings
on Feb. 07, 2014
I don't remember how I discovered Kuboa, but I remember falling in love with the artwork of all of the books on there. I feel like my reviews are pretty darn terrible when it comes to short story collections, because they are short and simple. There's not really much to talk about and my memory kind of sucks. The only stories I like tend to stay in my memory. Shifu, You'll Do Anything for a Laugh is probably one of the few short story collections that are actually burnt into my mind. My reviews probably won't do justice for any short story collections.
I kind of have mixed feelings for this collection. I give this author 1,000 points for originality though. The story in this collection are kind of bizarre and leave me with the oddest feeling, that is the biggest gem about this collection. However, there is something about the writing style that left me unsatisfied, I like that there are different voices with every story but I always find myself confused with what is going on. Maybe it's just me.
The originality of this work makes it likeable for me. The first two stories left me with feelings of sadness but at the same time I was like "Wait, that's messed up." The first one is about an anti-abortion guy who dates girls and provides support for their abortions, so I actually wondered if this story was a social commentary, very interesting. The first story and the second story both share the theme of wanting to impress others by faking your own self and that usually never works. Well, that's how I interpreted it. There's a story that's kind of like a western, where the characters play cards and then they die. Yeah, that's a good synopsis, but the ending was pretty cool.
In between these short stories, there's a novella or a novelette, I don't know the word count. It's a weird combination of vampires, living on different planets like Mars, possibly aliens, gladiators and a stadium, two vampire guys who are in love. Yeah, it's really out there, I actually wish it was longer.
I do like this collection, for it's originality and all that stuff, but I don't know, maybe some of it wasn't my cup of tea? I feel confused, this is a horrible review.
From my blog:
on Aug. 26, 2014
I don't remember how I found this press, maybe somewhere, somehow on Twitter? There were a few small press authors I knew the name of, but couldn't remember where I had discovered them. Anyway, this is the second KUBOA book that will appear on this blog, the first one was It Smells Like Plastic and Hurt Feelings by J. Bradley . The last time I had read something similar to this, flash fiction or micro fiction wise, it was I'm Not Saying, I'm Just Saying by Matthew Salesses , or maybe Blurb by Ravi Mangla. I really messed up those links, if I try to fix it, something terrible will happen.
There won't be much for me to say, since these are all short fictions, small little sentences, short films, packed with a story or a vision. I always found this type of fiction to be something brilliant and fascinating, how could a person cultivate a story in one sentence or paragraph? How is it possible to draw up the scene and bring it down to an ending without wasting time and words, without struggling to make logical sense out of it. Then I think that sometimes stories don't have to have conventional logic, it's up to the writer or the reader. This type of fiction seems to focus more on the feeling, the adrenaline, the fear, and the unknown.; With small, words and sentences with a punch, struggling to get everything down in a limited space. Am I exaggerating this? Probably. It's a claustrophobic type of work where you write poetry and prose all at the same time, just to paint the perfect picture. Just to get down the right words without the filler and the superfluous.This is the type of writing that lonely bookworms write during phases of boredom in the back of a notebook. This is the type of writing that you struggle to leak out of your mind, as you write on paper, squeezing it out into something tangible. Even if it doesn't make any sense, because most things don't make sense anyway.
on Nov. 29, 2014
Here's some more poetry. One of Kuboa's newest releases is a poetry book, which I found pretty surprising, because other than the flash fiction book that is somewhat close to poetry, Chris Deal's Cienfuegos, there really was no poetry on Kuboa. But this one and Hawaiian Shirts in the Electric Chair makes three poetry books. Or maybe two and a half.
I don't really have much to say for this collection. Not because I despise it or anything, but for some odd reason I always lose my words for poetry. Because poetry doesn't have a plot or enough words. But instead they have shards or snippets of who the writer is or what the story wants to show.
But I will say that this poetry collection felt like something that most people my age probably felt. That infatuated love for someone, the confusion of being a college kid, and just general angst. Then it later grew up into college angst that will soon develop into a hopeless combination of an identity and existential crisis that seems to plague people my age. I don't know if it's just me, but I constantly fear of future unhappiness. Some of the poems reminded me of this. Some of the other poems were sweet love poems that were nice to read, of course. Joslin's poetry is a lot more accessible and is a nice break from the surrealist poetry I usually read.
Originally posted here: http://wordsnotesandfiction.blogspot.com/2014/11/kicking-prose-by-jay-slayton-joslin-do.html