One Word Anthology is the latest book I’ve selected to review for Alfie Dog Fiction, and it’s just as it says on the tin: stories and poems inspired by a one word theme. The collection has 38 stories (which I might class as flash fiction, owing to their brevity) and poems in all, expressing ideas connected to time, colour, movement, emotion, substance and nature, to name but a few.
The subject matter is diverse, and within this stockpile of jewels are to be found some glistening gems. Despite each only taking a couple of minutes to read — others much less — there is a wealth of experience, knowledge and maturity in the narrative.
My particular favourites are the cleverly contrived twist of fate that is The Devil’s Quota; the agonising torment of guilt revealed in Freeze Frame; the daunting and random nature of the universe in Bounce; a chilling insight into a paedophile’s incestuous psyche in Desire; the poignant and uplifting nature of Poised, as well as the laugh out loud humour of Good Morning, Daddy!, Chaos by Richard Travers, and not forgetting Ye Olde Upper Class Shoppe if we’re talking fun. I could go on as there are so many that stood out for me. However, the shining beacon, as far as I’m concerned, is Lost in the fog by Shirley Elmokadem. It is a simple, yet effective, poem about the onset of dementia and is possibly the shortest offering in the book, but it resonated with me on a personal level and that’s what writing and reading is all about.
Would I recommend this anthology? Without hesitation! It is a testament to the calibre of the contributing authors that I enjoyed reading each and every one, even though I highlighted a few as outstanding. It has everything within its pages from fear, anger, and malevolence to wonder, humour, and frustration. As a parting shot, I might add that the book cover is stunning, as designed by Marion Clarke, a contributing author.