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  • By jnlister
    Oct 15, 2009
    "Reality check" Frantic Planet is the literary bridge between reality and surreality. The stories include three separate realities: the world we inhabit and know (complete with effectively apt cultural references); our world as it could be without social constraints; and a world where our laws of physics do not apply. The collection veers back and forth between these different worlds which, in the hands of a less-skilled writer might easily be clumsy and destroy suspension of disbelief. But here the juxtaposition creates an effective sense of uncertainty: by the time the reader deduces which rules apply to a particular piece, they will already be compelled by the story. And so that world becomes just as real as our own. The collection also varies widely in length. Some are as brief as a couple of hundred words and, as might be expected, these can be hit and miss. It seems likely the author has produced the book over a lengthy period as there appears to be a notable... More > disparity among the briefer stories in terms of the skill with which the pretext, the hook and the payoff are delivered. It is the longer tales that highlight the anthology, and perhaps not coincidentally they all inhabit the middle of the three literary worlds: that which follows our conventions of time and space, but rejects our conventions of behaviour . 'Just a statistic' is a twisted literal interpretation taking to ever more grotesque extremes. 'Rooting for truffles' examines the consequences of a 'What if?' scenario where only fate will ever allow the reader to confirm their conviction that they would never behave that way. And the centrepiece 'Simple Choices, clocking in at 55 pages (a quarter of the full book) treads a dangerous line between the revulsion provoked by the story's events and the contemplation provoked by its themes. The specifics are of a fantasy world but the message is firmly rooted in our own. A full appreciation of the subtleties of Frantic Planet may be contingent on a culture and humour overlap between audience and author. But the powers and burdens of free will are all that is needed to appreciate the way physical events in the book's fictional reality relate to less tangible ideals and behaviour in our physical world.< Less
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Product Details

Stuart Millard
September 14, 2006
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.77 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
Product ID
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