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Freaks by Nik Perring and Caroline Smailes

This is not likely to be a useful or interesting review.

Sorry, that was a brutal beginning, so brutal in fact that I didn’t manage to get a customary disclaimer in first. It was total brutal.


Where was I? Oh yes, being boring and unhelpful. Well, it all stems from the fact that I read Freaks because it was free for Kindle and someone or other keeps talking about Caroline Smailes in such glowing terms that it’s hard to ignore. Also, DarrenCraske has been suitably up-bigged by Scott Pack of The Friday Project, via blogs, social media and give-aways that his formerly nose-turned-up-at works have inveigled their way into what I almost casually term my throw-away collection. It was inevitable in that respect I suppose. 

I don't know who Nik Perring is.

Short and... well, short.
However, it was read over a particularly stressful Christmas period, and in snatches lasting only a few moments (not normally an issue for this book I suspect as it is basically X number of very tiny short stories, of the oft-labelled micro-fiction variety) so very little was properly absorbed*. I remember bits being rather amusing, lots of bits being rather disturbing**, and quite a few interesting seeds of stories which had probably been collected and published in this way to preserve their latent story-worthiness, rather than cultivated only to eventually wither and die being too leggy and stringy to survive the editors’ secateurs. Hmm, sounds like I’m projecting somewhat, eh? Still, there were enough cute angles and interesting twists to these stories, each prefaced with the super-power that the main character displays, to keep the pages flapping, and Craske’s appealing if overly Nintendo-esque (i.e. smiley egg as opposed to Playstation-like genocidal alien) illustrations did not detract anything and in some cases, added value. If it’s still free to download I would recommend it as mental chewing gum, and even if not, worth shelling out on up to but not exceeding the value of £1.99 or thereabouts. In my own personal hierarchy of micro-fiction read and filed away, it probably lags some way behind Dan Rhodes’ Anthropology and Félix Fénéon’s Novels in Three Lines, but if you’re a Joss Whedon fan you’ll probably love it and hate me. 

Nerd.


*In retrospect, not normally an issue either, as I tend to consume books in a covering-the-ground sort of way, relentlessly feeding them into the eyes and more often than not simply adding the title to the “READ” list and ejecting the contents onto the compost heap of the Memory Palace. One might compare me to an enthusiastic but ultimately untalented footballer, or indeed a child.

**Again in retrospect, in that fashion where I know I probably should be disturbed but thanks to a kind of cultural exhaustion that I feel most of the time, and with it an insensitivity to pretty much everything, it wasn’t at all.

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