Two Hundred Very Short Stories

Fiction - Short Story/Novela
192 Pages
Reviewed on 07/03/2017
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (Goodreads, B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

Flash fiction is a work of extreme brevity which, believe it or not, goes back a long way in history, all the way back to prehistory and the telling of the great fables that were passed on from one generation to the next. Flash fiction includes the six-word story, the dribble at 50 words, the drabble at 100 words, sudden fiction at 750 words, and twitterature, which is not much longer than the six-word story. Hemingway was the master of flash fiction, but there may be a new master, or perhaps I should say mistress, of flash fiction as we explore a concise volume of 200 little vignettes of life in a flash, mystery and romance in a few short sentences, deep thinking ideas and light humor, all with the eloquence of short story style: plot, characters and setting.

For example, there’s Noah’s passion for jigsaw puzzles magnified from the world’s largest puzzle, or so he thought at 32,000 pieces, to the study of geography and learning that the earth and its ever-moving continent pieces are really the largest jigsaw puzzle. Then, in three sentences, a frenzied sprint and the protagonist captures the prize, but it’s a Boxing Day sale, not a sports game. Another example is a short story written in reverse so that, unless you’re very clever at reading backwards, you have to hold it to the mirror to read it. And, in two sentences, we marvel with the narrator at the simple beauty of a tree and how we often fail to recognize beauty until the very end. Or, rather unique for this era, a story told in correspondence between two people, which is a bit of novelty in the age of quick texting and constant, monotonous use of acronyms.

Helen Keeling-Marston’s Two Hundred Very Short Stories was inspired by the author’s desire to read every night just before bed, and her frustration with falling asleep before she could pick up the thread of the previous night’s reading. The solution? Very short stories, or flash fiction. Just enough of a read to help the body unwind without initiating the frustration of not remembering what happened previously. A complete read in one bedtime reading – the perfect solution for the weary but passionate reader. And, she’s provided a collection of 200 stories, all of varying lengths and styles. Some are very thought-provoking; some of the really short stories lead the reader into the realms of their own imagination as they explore the 'what if' possibilities of a further developed plot. A great bedtime reading companion.