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review 2018-02-09 15:03
You're not gonna love 'em all
The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories, Volume One: Where on Earth - Ursula K. Le Guin

I'm going to come straight out and say that I think this book was too cerebral, abstract, and "out there" for me. Ursula K. Le Guin is a well-known name in writing circles and she is touted for her sci-fi/fantasy prowess. Surprisingly, I had never read anything by her and so I set out to remedy that by picking up a short story collection entitled The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories, Volume One: Where on Earth. I should have been wary after that convoluted title but I went in ready to be absolutely knocked off of my feet. Alas, alack! While this selection was categorized as sci-fi only one of the stories even vaguely felt like it was in that genre. If I'm completely honest I don't remember a single one of the stories and even when compiling my notes directly after reading it I felt the same. After completing each story, I would realize that I wasn't entirely sure I grasped the meaning much less any hidden meaning in the words. (See why I felt it was too cerebral for me?) I struggled to finish this book even when there were less than 50 pages remaining and I have absolutely no interest in seeking out her work in the future. I feel as if I'm some kind of a fraud because so many people herald her as a sci-fi/fantasy staple and...I just don't get it. ¯_(ツ)_/¯ Ah well! 0/10

 

What's Up Next: The People's Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited by Louisa Lim

 

What I'm Currently (Re)Reading: The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

 

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2013-05-11 00:00
Staying Alive Real Poems for Unreal Times
Staying Alive Real Poems for Unreal Times - Neil Astley If anyone ever reviews the poems inside an anthology you should disregard it completely. I discovered my favourite poem within these pages, yet the entire collection was not to my taste. That is poetry.
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review 2013-04-07 19:00
Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times
Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times - Neil Astley I recently bought a set of three poetry Anthologies, called Staying Alive, Being Alive and Being Human, or to be more accurate I purchased “Staying Alive” was so impressed that I bought the next and then the next (and even gave one as a prize in a Literary Giveaway), and they did that impossible thing – each was as good / if not better than the previous, in fact individually they easily stacked up against my benchmark poetry anthology “The Rattle Bag – edited by Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney”, combined they are unbeatable. These books contain a selection of poetry from most nations, poets such as - Nii Ayikwei Parkes, Simon Armitage, Anna T. Azabo, Imtiaz Dharker, Wislawa Szymborska, Naomi Shihab Nye, Anna Swir, Rumi, Benjamin Zephaniah, Langston Hughes, Agha Shahid Ali, Phillip Larkin, Billy Collins, Moniza Ali, Elizabeth Bishop etc. In fact between the three anthologies there is approximately 1200 poems, and all three were edited Neil Astley and published by Bloodaxe Books, now anyone with an interest in poetry will have heard of Bloodaxe books, but I wanted to find out more, about the history behind such a force in contemporary poetry.http://parrishlantern.blogspot.com/2011/08/behind-verse-1-bloodaxe-books.html
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review 2012-07-03 00:00
The Chilling Hour: Tales of the Real and Unreal - Collin A. McDonald This is a collection of 8 short stories. The stories of elements of the supernatural, mystery and other odd, unexplainable things. I wasn't sure if I'd like this book or not, but I was very surprised when I began reading it and found myself getting drawn into the very first story in the book. I think all the stories were quite unpredictable. Some were suspenseful, a few were sad and some had surprise endings. Overall, this book is very good and I didn't really expect to like it as much as I did. I was pretty impressed with the stories and the author's style of writing. He has a way of making you interested in every short in this book and caring about the characters and what happens to them. Which I've found some short story collections, you'll have some good and some just alright stories. However, I found the The Chilling Hour, each story was very good. This is definitely a short story collection I'd recommend.
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review 2010-07-13 00:00
Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times
Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times - Neil Astley Not a fan of the cover or title. However, I am a fan of poetry and anthologies. When I first opened it to see Wild Geese by Mary Oliver, I knew I had made a good choice.
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