I wouldn’t necessarily call Nom D. Plume’s mind
an odd one, so much as a very high functioning, obscure one, and good luck
trying to get on the author’s tangent – though if you do, you’ll be rewarded,
for sure. I like short stories and
poetry, and I really like this collection, too.
The tales, I would say, are more like little vignettes or snippets of narrative,
as bizarrely offbeat as they are exceptionally intelligent and well written,
and as utterly random as they are astutely crafted within a wider context. The characters appear to overlap from tale to
tale, the timeline varies and moves in different directions, and the genre
appears to change throughout. There is,
I’m certain, a very tenuous link between these stories, despite the apparent
differences in their settings. Some
feel contemporary, others hinting at some fantastical distant future, yet all
share the same melancholic feel; bleak and hopeless. Of course, the fact that book’s foreword is narrated
by Death itself is not random or stylistic; it is relevant, and the oppressive
presence of this aspect never feels too far from the surface.
This is a wonderful collection, and Nom D. Plume is a truly creative, engaging writer of both fiction and verse. It is in some ways a shame that he/she
chooses anonymity, as I feel this is a piece of work to be proud of, and would be
eager to see more, even feature length, from the author. I love the suggestion and implication
underlying these pieces, and would unusually recommend that readers who enjoy
this book (which will be all of them, I’m sure) to read it again, paying
attention to subtext and their own intuition.
Much is left to the reader’s interpretation, I think, and I like that
about it very much. If you like short stories,
vignettes, poetry and obscurely tenuous fiction, with the mixed styles and tenuously
organized randomness of Cloud Atlas, I think you’ll enjoy this one a
lot. I did.
In : Book Reviews