I’m Starved For You

**This is from a published article I wrote for my college’s newspaper.**

Awakening Our Society: A Review of the Kindle Single

“I’m Starved for You”

A new form of literature for the new generation

Owl rating:

This month (March 2012), bestselling author Margaret Atwood released her first Kindle Single titled “I’m Starved for You” through with the digital publishing company Byliner. E-singles, which are digital novellas, have grown in popularity since the launch of Amazon’s Kindle Singles in January 2011. Although less than 30,000 words, “I’m Starved for You,” efficiently tells a gripping story about a married man struggling with his obsessive desire for another man’s wife. From the start, the e-single raises compelling questions such as “what kind of world is our society becoming?” and “how will we try and fix the problems we have created?”

The e-single, set in the not-so-distant future, takes place in a dystopian community called Consilience. Stan, the protagonist, and his wife Charmaine have agreed to live in Consilience, giving up their free will in exchange for safety and a better life in a sort of Lockean social contract. In this repressive and controlled society, everyone has an assigned Alternate, a person with whom they switch positions with every month.  During one month a person inhabits their house and works in the town, and during the next they become the prisoners of the community prison “Positron” with this cycle continuing month after month. The purpose of this: to alleviate the problems our society has created, such as high unemployment rates and overflowed prisons.  As explained by Ed, one of the masterminds behind Consilience’s creation, “You can’t eat your so-called individual liberties, and the human spirit pays no bills, and something had to be done to relieve the pressure inside the social pressure cooker.”

“I’m Starved for You” is characteristic of Atwood’s captivating writing style, including flashback scenes and an open-ending reminiscent of her international bestseller “The Handmaid’s Tale.” “I’m Starved for You” has all the right plot combinations; it makes the reader reevaluate the things that society considers important, leading the reader to realize that no society can be truly perfect.  This along with its short length makes it a great read for people, especially college students, who love a good read and yet do not have the time to read a full length novel.

However, this e-single lacks a neatly tied up ending, something that is rarely found in Atwood novels. Furthermore, the short length of this novel has its drawbacks. There is not enough time for further character development; the story seems to end just as the reader begins to connect with and learn more about the characters.  There are many questions that are left unanswered, and while it is good to allow room for further conversations, too much speculation can result in a very confused reader.

In a press release, Atwood stated, “The inspiration for ‘I’m Starved for You’ is, as usual with my ‘speculative fictions,’ real life. This is a story that imagines what might happen if certain present-day trends continue.” And imagines it does, creating a world that is utterly dystopian and set up for failure. “I’m Starved for You” proves that e-singles, which can be often read in one sitting, may just be the new wave of digital short-literature our technological and fad-obsessed society needs.

**This is a 100% honest review**

ebook, 62 pages
Published: March 7th 2012 by Byliner
ISBN13: 9781614520252
Edition language: English
So what are you thoughts on Kindle Singles, have any of you published one?  Atwood often talks about how short stories, especially because of digital venues such as the Kindle Single, are making a comeback…do you agree?  Where do you hope this digital revolution takes us?

Whimsically Yours,
PnC

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If you wish to have me review your book, click here, to see my Review Policy.

Ira Glass on Storytelling (Part 2/4)

This is the second in a four-part video series by Ira Glass on Storytelling.  In it he refers mostly to radio storytelling however it can easily be applied to any kind.

You have to be ruthless if anything is going to be good. – Ira Glass

More to come 🙂

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

Ira Glass on Storytelling (Part 1/4)

This is the first in a four-part video series by Ira Glass on Storytelling.  In it he refers mostly to radio storytelling however it can easily be applied to any kind.  It’s great to listen to especially if you’re hitting a low spot in your creativity or writing like I am now.

You have two basic building blocks: the anecdote and the moment of reflection. – Ira Glass

 

More to come 🙂

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

Petronella & The Trogot

Petronella & The Trogot

by: Cheryl Bentley

Book Blurb

Petronella moves to a cottage in a seemingly ideal village. But she soon comes into contact with its weird inhabitants, a tree-monster that appears in her garden, gets spooky night-time visits from a hooded horseman, and finds a boy-ghost in her house. How do creepy ghosts and scary monsters fit in with the invasion of spirits all over Fort Willow?

My Review

Owl rating:

“Folks with ugly souls liveth a life of misery. If ye soul be ugly ye cannot be happy.” – The Hooded Horseman

I enjoyed reading Petronella & The Trogot; it was a chilling tale however I wasn’t fully hooked until the second part.  The first part of the story was confusing; it started off by introducing the main character, Petronella but I wasn’t able to make a real connection with her until later in the book.  The switching between various character stories in the beginning kept me very out of the loop about what was going on.

However the second part almost completely redeemed the story.  I would liken the second part, Petronella’s journey into hell and investigation of an email, monstrous tree in her backyard to a miniature version of Dante’s Inferno.  Because Dante’s The Divine Comedy especially The Inferno is one of my favorite pieces of literature I was hooked immediately.  It was almost in the same structure as the inferno as well with various “sinners” having punishments that put a cruel twist on their crime.  I also really liked Bentley’s creative use of language, some of the characters, ex. Strincas, had a cool old-Englishy way of speaking.

So overall this is a good read that I recommend especially for those who have a fond spot for The Inferno.  It has spooky creatures, (The Headed Horseman = yikes!), adventure,  some romance, and at 192 pages it is a very quick read…

**I received this ARC from Sparkling Books through Netgalley, this is a 100% honest review.**

Paperback, 192 pages
Expected publication: October 1st 2012 by Sparkling Books
ISBN13: 781907230455
Edition language: English

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If you wish to have me review your book, click here, to see my Review Policy.