Review from
My greatest enjoyment from reading the book was the unpredictability of the stories. Stereotypes and commonplace tropes were absent and the stories the author crafted were matchless. Unexpected endings made sure that when I thought I knew where a narrative was heading I was subsequently proved misguided. Characters provided distinct portraits of personalities and while different from each other they remained realistic. William H. Coles rejected a ‘black and white’ approach to the design of his subjects and thus the people portrayed in the stories were complex and distinctive. Each story evoked in me a wide range of emotion and I found myself at times becoming sympathetic towards some characters and their stories and feeling hate and disgust towards others. Heroes are few in this collection and where present proved ‘grey’ on the morality spectrum but this was a quality I much appreciated as it was true-to-life. I must mention that the author makes a delightful habit of embellishing his narratives using witty commentary either via characters or as the narrator and this adds considerable humor to these dark tales. Illustrations provided for every story are all beautiful, distinctive and capture the sweeping tone of the story it intends to represent. Various styles utilized for each picture ensured that images weren’t monotonous.
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