Richard Wright

author of strange, dark fictions

Journal

The Fix – Tattered Souls Review

November 24, 2007 by Richard Wright in Journal, News, Writing

Pleased to see another review of Tattered Souls appear online, in no less venue as TTA Press’s The Fix. It’s an extremely well considered piece, despite being a mixed review on the face of things, and it’s so well written that I refuse to take exception. More than any review I’ve had though, it illustrates to me that a story becomes free of the intentions of the author the moment that it’s published, and becomes the sole property of the reader. For example, Wities (the reviewer) suggests that the story:

seems intended to comment upon society in general

Far from it. As the author, I was more concerned with immersing the reader in the psychology of the individual, and thematic repeptition formed a significant part of that. In an important way though, the statement I’ve just made means nothing in the eyes of the reader, because you filter what you’re reading through their own experiences and perceptions. As such, the points Wities makes, because they’re clearly well considered, are more valid than my own. He owns the story, while he’s reading it, and I find his take on it fascinating and rewarding.

I hope you’ll also filter the story while you read it, taking the words on the page and making them mean something unique to you. Go and buy it, and find out whether you agree with either of us, or have your own take.

Good bits of the review include such things as:

Individually, each suicide is well-written and chilling. Particularly powerful is the portrayal of determination and supreme effort in the characters self-destructiveness; each works hard and suffers greatly for their easy way out. The characters are interesting, and their outlandish deaths earn our belief and our horror.

The ‘bad’ bits include:

Though each character’s personality, motive, and method are different, the narrative is nearly identical. We get the point halfway into the second suicide, and by the beginning of the third, there’s little need to read any further.

It’s an informative, interesting, and well written review, the type that is worth discussion in its own right. If that’s a discussion you want to have, there’s a forum at the bottom of the review that will let you do so. Failing that, feel free to let me know what you thought yourself, and what effect the story may or may not have had on you.

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2 Comments

  1. ZivDecember 3, 2007 at 2:37 pm

    Richard,

    Came across this post in a trackback, and was very gratified to read your comments. I’m glad you appreciated my review despite the criticism, and of course, compliments on one’s work are always a pleasure. 🙂

    Your comments about personal perception changing the story are very true… And it’s interesting to compare different people’s take on the same story. Especially when you hear something new from someone else, and it “clicks” for you, and you feel like you’ve learned something new about a piece you already know…

    All the best!

    –ZW

  2. Richard WrightDecember 3, 2007 at 6:29 pmAuthor

    Well said, and you’re welcome – thanks for giving the book a bit of thought (as well as exposure!).

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