I was asked to write a review of a very different type of book. I was sent this book by the person responsible for putting it together. Dane Cobain. As you can imagine I was very excited about receiving a book that someone actually wanted me to review. I got started reading it straight away. But before I get into the details of my review let me tell you a little more about the book.
What is it about?
The subject verb object is an anthology that took 18 writers. 18 very different writers. They were all from different parts of the globe and they all had different styles and genres of writing. Each of these 18 writers was asked to provide a short writing prompt. Each writing prompt would provide the basis of a story so the writers were asked to include a subject, a verb and an object in the prompt. This way the authors could make a decent story out of the prompt. For example one of the prompts was "The archaeologists discovered a tomb". In this prompt the " archaeologist" is the subject. The fact that they "discovered" something is the verb and the "tomb" is the object.
After all the prompts were submitted they were randomised and issued out to the 18 writers. Those writers' task was to create a short story using the prompt they had been given.
Pretty cool right?
As I said I was sent a copy of this anthology to read and review. In all honesty I didn't know much about the book until I started to read it. Therefore I had no idea that such an awesome concept lay behind it. When I figured out that this anthology had brought together 18 writers (Dane Cobain himself being one of them) it automatically made me want to read more of the book. I think it's such a great idea that 18 strangers can bounce off each other's ideas and put their stories together for lots of people to read.
After reading the first half of the book I realised what a challenge this whole concept actually was. As an aspiring writer myself I can see how difficult it would be to make a story out of something that has come out of someone else's mind. Also the writing promot has come from another writer, so you can imagine they're not going to provide something easy are they? In fact most of the writing prompts are very odd but I'll come onto that later.
I really do love the idea of this anthology, bringing writers together is something I love to see. Its also a great opportunity for authors to get themselves better recognised and to get their stories out in the world. Myself, as a writer would love to be involved in something like this so I do think it's a great opportunity for other writers!
The anthology is also great for the people reading it, some readers find difficult to commit themselves to one whole novel. They may not be able to stick with one long story or they might not have the time to spend reading the same book. Therefore with the Subject Verb Object anthology readers can spend less time reading one story. They can read a story on their break at work or even before going to bed at night. The anthology is full of short stories...and speaking of stories, let me tell you about one of them.
The Goat Ate the World by Oli Jacobs
The prompt given for this story was exactly as it says in the title. A story about a goat that literally ate the world. That's a pretty hard prompt to write about and you're probably thinking the same thing I did. That there's no way someone can make a decent story out of that. How wrong we both are! This was by far the best story in the entire anthology if you ask me, and its only about 6 pages long. The author of this story clearly has a very broad imagination because they have taken this very strange prompt and turned it into something very well thought out and unexpected. Instead of using the prompt in the way I thought he would, the author has chosen to make the idea of the goat symbolise something rather than writing about an actual goat that ate the world.
In the story the goat symbolises somebody's depression. Which, when looking at the story was a fantastically brilliant idea! The story is being told by a friend of the person with depression. The story tells us about this character that was always different at school but the other kids never took any notice of it. The story shows a little truth because kids tend to not notice anything like that when they are young. However people began to notice when the character grew up. The author uses symbolism well in this story and personifies the characters depression in a way that really makes you think as a reader. I won't ruin it for you though, get yourself a copy and read the story for yourself!
There are also plenty of other stories that capture the imagination in this book you can read about how Gary's cat found heaven and about where Jules goes when she needs to make a big decision. Also make sure you look out for the story about Jay and the mirror, that one really is a page turner and its written by none other than Dane Cobain himself!
There's so many different stories about different things in this book that there will definitely be at least one in there that anyone can enjoy!
I can't say I liked all the stories, I only found a few that I really loved. I found that some of the stories were far too complex and needed to be told in more than just a few pages. Still I think it's a great idea and is still an enjoyable read. The stories are full of imagination and you never know quite where the next one will take you.
This book is available to buy in the kindle store on Amazon and it's at a great price! Get yourself a copy and let me know what your favourite stories were!