52FF by Marc Nash
Reviewed by Sassy Brit
Link to book on Amazon UK and Amazon USA
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A veritable cocktail of real life incidents, metaphors and hidden meanings of an imaginative mind!
52FF is a concoction of short (and sometimes not so sweet) “Flash Fiction” stories all under 1000 words each.
The majority of stories were thought-provoking vignettes with an underlying nefariousness portraying the horror of both fantastical and real life situations, which work on our human weaknesses (anxieties, fear and loathing) with a twist of satire and black humour thrown in.
In the Nursery, is a poignant example of this heady cocktail of emotions and descriptive prose, by which the author, Marc Nash, tells this heart-rending story through the eyes of a stuffed panda in the room of a child’s psychologist. There’s a wide variety of stories to read, from the violence suggested in a seemingly harmless game of bingo in The Caller to the Bingo Caller’s House Calls “House”, to Badges and the stark loneliness of Lost Sole, where Nash’s very British, analytical voice bubbles to the surface. My favourite story has to be Bittersweet, another fine example of how the author cleverly plays around with words, metaphor and new ideas showing a strong love for language.
With 52 stories, you can deal a story-a-day, there’s a gritty, down-to-earth quick appetiser to appeal to your varying taste-buds. A great “loo book” too, and I mean that in a good way! I felt, that in some cases, there were a couple of scenes as opposed to complete short stories with beginnings, middles and ends, however, these tended to be more experimental and came across more like poetry, or an alternative style of prose, which I rather liked as they enhanced their individual potency. This made for a good read as I never quite knew what to expect from one story to another, making 52FF very hard to put down.
At the end of the book there is a additional nice touch, the story prompts, which led to the ideas behind each piece of flash. A unique and effective idea. I found myself going back and re-reading some of the more mysterious ones armed with this additional knowledge, as though privy to inside information and looking for the things I may have missed, like one does when watching a film for the second time.
Overall, I do enjoy flash fiction and I think, Marc Nash, has done very well with his collection of 52FF. Whether you are new to this form of creativity, or a flash fiction fiend, 52FF is an electric mixture of small servings covering many flavours to chill, shake and stir you! What provides some thematic unity, as well as satirical bite, is the darkness, which lies around the corner in many of these stories. A veritable cocktail of real life incidents, metaphors and hidden meanings of an imaginative mind!
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