Book Review: Crimson Abstracts

What is good fiction would bring different responses

The question ‘What is good fiction?’ would bring different responses from different readers. For some, it would be the believability of the story, which is not necessarily over the top or unrealistic. For some, it would be the ability of the story to transport them into a world unlike the one around them; a fantasy land where there’s magic and love and happiness. And yet, for some, it would be the way the author leaves them at the end of the tale, either with clarity on everything that transpired, or with threads that they themselves may have to connect in order to get completeness.

This last way, I feel, can be done with length, to concoct threads that weave in and out of the lives of its characters. The author of the stories in this book, Crimson Abstracts, takes it a step further. It is his belief that the way to leave the reader contemplating on a tale is to keep it short and simple. Flash fiction, one I have attempted before as well, is no easy task, so to read 150 short stories, each with a single word as its title, was different, interesting and well, mostly enjoyable.

To review an anthology of stories is something challenging. I find it is even more challenging to review flash fiction without giving away the plot or the idea of the story. Because it just happens in the blink of an eye. There are stories of people who hold on to hope; and those who tell a white lie to help those people hold on to it for a little while longer; of people who hold on to someone no longer within their reach, and realize it only when they themselves ask another to let go; of the conviction to win, which is contagious in an instant.

The stories are believable. Some might have happened to us, or to one we know. They speak in their brevity, something beautiful. The author tells that it is his intent to make the readers visualize the story and experience it in their own way. The open endings for most of the stories, to an extent, do that. The stories cover a wide range of human emotions as well.

Each reader has their own way of reading. They might not vary it for each book. I feel Crimson Abstracts might not cater to a reader who wants to finish the book in one sitting. While each story does have its own essence that such a reader may enjoy, the idea of the collection of stories overall begins to feel less appealing after reading story after story in a short while. The volume of stories, no matter how small a single story is, still will feel more. If the collection is read few stories at a time, giving each story a few moments to sink in, then yes, it does feel like an interesting concept.

I enjoyed the emotions in the stories, and the variety, and it would make a good companion for a journey. Some of the stories would even be worth revisiting after a while. Abstract, but I don’t quite know why it is crimson, I would say that the concept of the collection is quite enough to make it stand out and grab our attention.

Title: Crimson Abstracts
Authors: Phani Kondeti
Publisher/ Imprint: Self-published/ Amazon
Pages: 204
Genre/ Sub-Genre: Fiction/ Short Stories
Rating: 3.75 of 5.00
Reviewed for: Author

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