Illustrated Short Fiction of William H. Coles: 2000-2016 by William H. Coles is a collection of about 35 diverse short stories. One thing that all these stories share in common is their depth. These stories trigger emotions in you and force you to think out of the box. The plots are extremely diverse in nature. While Suchin’s Escape focuses on Suchin trying to get out of forced prostitution, The Indelible Myth is a story about a boy who just can’t escape his one mistake and has to live with it. The diversity of the plots is mind-blowing, to say the least.
The characters are well written and easy to connect with. The author’s specialty is keeping his characters as close to reality as possible. These characters are complex, much like everybody around us. For instance, in the story The Gift, readers see the angry and unsympathetic side of Agnes when she discovers that her unmarried teenage daughter, Catherine, is pregnant. However, when Agnes’s husband talks about her other side, which is caring and loving, it brings home the point that no person is pure evil. This depth of characters is sheer genius and compelling.
Most of the short stories are quite long, although a few climax in less than 2-3 pages. The short story Necklace is truly close to my heart. It’s about cherishing your partner and taking a leap of faith; however, instead of getting to the point head-on, the author used other characters to draw the conclusion. Illustrated Short Fiction of William H. Coles: 2000-2016 by William H. Coles is perfect for readers who enjoy one book with a lot of intriguing short stories.