Short Stories

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F Scott Fitzgerald

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F Scott Fitzgerald

Review by Shwetha H S

Genre: Fiction, Short Story

F Scott Fitzgerald is an American author who had his own style of writing in retro times. He did not follow others style and his readers appreciated his ways. F S Fitzgerald is known for many works of the budding modern America, but most famous are The Great Gatsby and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Roger Button fathers an unusual child. The child is born seventy-years old with hair strands meant to be on his head on his chin. The child is lean and wobbly like an old man, and is able to get along well with his grandfather than new born babies. This bizarre occurrence rattles Roger Button and makes him try hard to show an old man as a baby. As time passes, the baby now named Benjamin Button, starts looking younger and younger. When Benjamin starts appearing like a fifty-year old man, Hildegarde Moncrief falls in love with him and marries him. His phenomenon of reverse aging makes him look younger day-by-day and his wife look like his mother. Later he even starts looking like his own son, Roscoe Button. What Benjamin does with his rare life is the story to be read.

While reading The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, leave your rationality behind. For the love of logic, you don’t know how a seventy-year old man came out of the vagina of a female human being. Apart from that, this story is a good read and can be read in a single sitting.

The Muse’s Fables: The Fondom of Ufasino Collection by Rachel Nkyete Nyambi

The Muse’s Fables: The Fondom of Ufasino Collection by Rachel Nkyete Nyambi

Review by Shwetha H S

We all are aware of Aesop’s Fables, which the famous ones in their genre. Rachel Nkyete Nyambi presents the Muse’s Fables, which are set in sub-Saharan Africa. True to the nature of fables, each one in this anthology will teach not only children but also adults how to live and let live. This collection of Muse’s Fables has nine stories.

You will meet Nkoh the bully, a disobedient Khola the Antelope, Prince Nyamekye and Pendo, a jealous Zuli, Nduru the squirrel and Mboma the snake, the Princess Bride Kagiso and simple Balondemu, Enam who comes to Baka, Kiburi who wants marry Prince Chinua, and friends turned lovers Chidi and Kianga. Apart from the fables, the best part of this book is the glossary at the end; this truly gives a glimpse into the culture of African countries. As an added bonus, you get to read a few poems from Rachel’s upcoming poetry collection.

Fables are meant to teach you lessons of life and the Muse’s Fables don’t fail in serving their purpose. One can read them to revive their childhood or read them to children. Either way, fables are welcome to our lives at any phase.

A is for Apocalypse (Edited by Rhonda Parrish)

A is for Apocalypse (Edited by Rhonda Parrish)

Review by Venkatesha M

A collection of 26+1 short stories was the first reason to pick up this book for reading. As the name suggests stories were weaved around apocalypse genre. Each story in the book is different in its own way; few plots fit very well to be extended to full length novels. Each story is written by a different author and all together edited by Rhonda Parrish.

Themes vary from end of civilization, deadly disease, nuclear war, catastrophe, vampire, epidemic virus, music, immortal souls and many more. “U is for Umbrella” is one perfect match with apocalypse theme with contemporary storytelling. This is about a mother and her daughter during last few days before an asteroid hitting Earth. This story perfectly explains how a common man could think of end of the World in current situation. My favourite from the this book is “V is for Vellum” which talks about preserving knowledge for the next generation and also the importance of Hope. There are other aspects in this story which I would leave it to other readers to explore. “K is for Kickstarter” is a different one in which entire story is in form of online comments. I also liked “D is for Dosimeter” and “E for Earth station 6”.

I enjoyed reading all the stories from this book; interesting part is that the title is revealed at the end of respective story. Though you might feel that the mood is gloomy, you will be amazed with the way different authors have expressed the feelings in form of stories. This is a must read for those who would like to pick up a short story collection and also for those who love sci-fi fiction.

The Vigil and Other Stories by Gita V Reddy

The Vigil and Other Stories by Gita V Reddy

Review by Shwetha H S

I must applaud Gita V Reddy for writing the Vigil and Other Stories. Except three, almost all the short stories are about women, no doubt about that. No, not about successful or famous women like in Almost Famous Women by Megan Mayhew Bergman. The Vigil and Other Stories talk about the daily plight of women who seem to be normal and lead regular life, not for themselves but for the sake of others. If the Vigil is about a pregnant woman who is getting used to behave like one and stay away from her promising career, then the Gift is about the power of love of an innocent woman. Time and Space is about an old woman who has been taken for granted by her family. This way, there are fifteen stories that tell you what a woman goes through every day. The stories talk about caste system and domestic violence too. My personal favourite is Sita’s Lives. Here, the author has interpreted the sorrow and the thoughts in Sita after she was exiled by her Ram when she was pregnant. I have not seen any television show or read any book that has described this phase of Sita from her point of view. This interpretation will slowly gnaw and eat you up as you read the story. So powerful are the thoughts, they will make you see the whole Ramayan in a different light.

“When you banish me, you who are maryadapurushottham will be writing a law which will render innocent women of coming generations homeless and destitute.” – Sita in her thoughts for Ram

A must read. Don’t miss out on this wonderful anthology.

Second Heart by Dr. Sandeep G Huilgol and Santosh Avvannavar

Review by Shwetha H S

Second Heart is not about organ donation or claiming myths about second-hand heart. It talks about the pair of kidneys in every human being that too help in regulating blood and its flow. Therefore, kidneys are termed as our second heart. This book is a compilation of five short stories that tell you why it is important to take care of your kidney’s health too.

Unforgotten Love, Love That Returned and Faith is a story of a doctor, who ignored his own health and lost his kidney functionalities. Hope tells us about various ways in which kidney can fail. Love, War and Faith reminds you not to ignore any illness symptoms. God, Freewill and Lucifer: Battle Ground shows what happens if you take your body for granted and abuse it. Shalom is about a girl who is thrown into human trafficking. All the stories have a situation that lead to kidney failure except Shalom. This last story is an odd-man-out in this compilation and you will feel like it has been forcibly stuffed here in this book. There is moral in every story. A good one time read.

SHE Ekla Cholo Re by Santosh Avvannavar & Dr. Shayan Haq

She: Ekla Cholo Re by Dr Shayan Haq and Santosh Avvannavar

Review by Shwetha H S

She is a short story about homosexual who was born boy and later embraced her feminine qualities. In a matter of 40+ pages, the authors manage to tell you about the problems that homosexuals face in our country. Starting with their own family to the outer world, they are troubled by their own people. They have problems getting into schools and colleges, finding jobs and even finding good friends. Our society is still not that broadminded to accept homosexuals too as human beings.

She has a good background. No beating around the bush. The story is told through Kusum Chatterjee with Rajendra as her audience. It is just like one of those yesteryear programs that dominated our TVs before the dawn of mega serials. Only one story at a time; no parallel stories. You can sit back and finish reading this book at one go.

Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned by Wells Tower

Review by Venkatesha M

I had been searching for a good story collection on Quora and I found this book title interesting. I must say that you will not know about the 9 different stories covered in the book by just looking at the title. It’s a modern day fiction portraying broken marriages, unsuccessful men, troubled times, adolescence and so on.

Wells Tower has been successful to mark his way of narration and style of writing. I enjoyed the language and clear sentences throughout the book. You will get to see a second person narrative too. Most of the stories are about sad people; however emotions are captured well without much exaggeration. Being an American writer, author has tried to cover the American culture or the current lifestyle.

My favorites from the book are “Leopard”, “Down Through the Valley” and “Wild America”. Last story which is the title story is about Vikings which you might want to skip if you are not interested. I refrain myself from talking about other stories and leave it to you to explore.