Curious Thinkers

Flash Fiction

Fiction - Anthology
128 Pages
Reviewed on 06/25/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

Ever found yourself searching for your wallet while you're preparing to go out? Now try to imagine what might have been going through your wallet's mind at that very moment if it were a living being? What if the sneakers you wear are suddenly able to witness everything from above rather than being stomped upon all their lives? Find out the answers to these seemingly mundane yet fascinating questions and more through Hope Silver's humorous take on the inner workings of inanimate objects, Curious Thinkers. Paired with some imaginative illustrations by Viacheslav Shilov, the book contains short excerpts about a wide array of inert objects, each uniquely relative to their respective practical purposes. Hop on a wild rollercoaster of a ride where you may not have an idea where you're going, but you're guaranteed to have fun.

Curious Thinkers takes readers on an unpredictable odyssey full of imagination and intrigue, where you get some fresh perspectives on your surroundings. From looking through the eyes of a judgemental mirror to finding yourself in the mind of a pillow sharing the dream of its owner, author Hope Silver's immensely creative work of flash fiction feels authentic and captivates you from start to finish. The illustrations provided by Viacheslav Shilov add another artistic element to the pages and make the narrative all the more entertaining. Curious Thinkers is weird, hilarious, moving, and sometimes surprisingly poignant. This is one of the most unique books I've read this year. If you're looking for something different to enjoy, I highly recommend it.

Jamie Michele

Curious Thinkers by Hope Silver is a compilation of original flash fiction that revolves around point-of-view stories of everyday life. Of course, by everyday life what we really mean is life experienced by actual things. Silver takes novelty tales to spectacularly creative new heights by injecting purpose and personality into the inanimate objects that we see, use, fill our private and public space with, and/or all of these same items we ignore every single day. These range from the resistant teabag that has watched all his friends get used and discarded in Serendipi-Tea, to the kite that bemoans being tied to a string he is convinced is only meant to keep him from having fun in Partners.

Curious Thinkers is a fantastic anthology that packs a huge punch with its compact stories. Each is a delight and the skill Hope Silver has in giving readers a fully satisfying start-to-finish ride with such brevity is without question. My favorite is Burning with Desire, wherein an insecure little birthday candle doubts her ability to perform perfectly on an occasion as important as a birthday. What I loved most in this story is that, like many of the others, there is a message of self-worth that concludes each piece of fiction that is really sweet and wonderfully inspiring. The book is also suitable for all age groups and my daughter enjoyed reading alongside me. The sketched artwork interspersed between Silver's work is a fun addition that rounds out an already amusing collection.

Jennie More

Curious Thinkers: Flash Fiction by Hope Silver includes stories concerning various inanimate objects we encounter daily and probably rarely give a second thought. The stories of these objects are all metaphors for human life, life’s ups and downs, successes and failures, happy, sad, and in-between emotions. Each story is different. Some are funny, like Find Me If You Can, Life Begins in the Elevator, and The Dirty Trick. Other stories serve as metaphors for more serious junctures in life. Together Forever is about two toothbrushes who can’t stand each other, and the story seems to be about a long-married couple possibly contemplating divorce. Grief is about a doll that was cared for by a young girl, who eventually became old and died, and the doll jumped from the shelf. A line that stood out for me in Grief is that “dolls also can have broken hearts,” meaning that no matter how seemingly beautiful or happy someone looks from the outside, they may be experiencing turmoil emotionally.

Curious Thinkers by Hope Silver is a sublime, awe-inspiring, and creative book that leads one to contemplate life and its meaning. I enjoyed all the stories, and a couple stood out for me because their meaning resonated with me, and I’ve listed some of them here. I loved how Silver managed to keep the book light-hearted and feel-good even though she tackled some weighty issues. She achieved it by interspersing heavier topics with light-hearted and funny ones. Still, even the sadder stories didn’t leave me feeling in a negative state of mind because she told every story beautifully, expressing the pure and natural course of life’s journey. Ideas of living in the moment, seizing opportunities, and never falling like The Stubborn Bowling Pin, even though everyone wishes you would and even if they hate you for not falling. This is a brilliant book, and I loved it.

Vincent Dublado

Curious Thinkers is a collection of brilliant flash fiction by Hope Silver that will make you never look at ordinary objects the same way again. Each of these very short stories has many important implications for how we go about life. For example, in its opening story, Find Me If You Can, a wallet loves to play hide-and-seek with its agitated owner, who is obviously not having fun looking for it. As this story captures the woes of what most of us have gone through in searching for something while we are pressed for time, the anthropomorphized wallet becomes an entity that expresses his impressions about his owner—a social connection that gives you an idea of the owner’s character. There is also the story of an elevator that loves to play matchmaker by getting singles stuck together. There is also a message of being appreciated in the tale of an old trash can. These are just some of the fascinating flash fiction stories that you will encounter in this collection.

Anthropomorphism in flash fiction never read so well. It is even more fascinating to learn that Hope Silver got her inspiration for writing these tales from a conversation with her imaginative young daughter. The juxtaposition between human and non-human characters and their interaction that can only exist in a surreal world suggests the fluidity in our manner of perceiving what is human or humanlike. The way Silver sees humanness in inanimate objects raises psychological and philosophical questions about existence that we have long been trying to answer. The unique thoughts and attitudes that objects have about their human counterparts largely reflect how we look at the world and think of others. To read Curious Thinkers is to immerse oneself in figurative observations of human intentions, thoughts, and feelings. Having said that, there is no reason why you should not take time to read these short tales for your enjoyment and a philosophical exercise.

Joanne Ang

Curious Thinkers: Flash Fiction by Hope Silver is a short graphic novel that gives life to the inanimate objects that people use daily. This short anthology consists of 60 exciting short stories that cover a wide range of topics, from sparking love between two strangers in an elevator to finding hope with a box filled with junk. The book opens up your imagination to the notion that objects could think like we do, and feel what we feel. This is a light-hearted read with endless possibilities that will keep you wondering.

Curious Thinkers by Hope Silver is a world of imagination like no other. Here is an author who successfully thinks outside the box, bestowing the complexity of human emotions on inanimate objects. I appreciated how Silver was able to connect the little things that occur with the use of everyday objects and create a link with the people that use them. The language used is easy to understand, perfectly paced, and balanced. The wide variety is a bonus. I also really liked the minimalistic illustrations by Viacheslav Shilov that accompany each short story. No matter how grim the plot can be, the illustrations strike a comedic tone, keeping this novel light-hearted. This is an excellent book with which to unwind after a long day. I couldn’t help but turn the pages to see what Silver could possibly think of next.