Blurb (from Goodreads):
The first book in the 'Be Eclectic' series by short story writer Alex South.
Contains seven short stories:
COPY AND PASTE
"I was just about to go to the pub when it started. I had gone into the hall on my way to the front door, when I heard what sounded like a gasp behind me. I turned around and there was a man sitting on the sofa where I had just been. I jumped, of course, and walked a few steps back, then I realised the man was me, well, he looked like me. He wasn’t me; I’m me – obviously.
The man stared – he looked pale – then we said, “Who are you?” in unison, and then we said, “I’m Rob,” also in unison."
A teenager starts receiving mysterious letters in his locker. How did they get there? Who wrote them? And should he follow their bizarre instructions?
SEA OF MERCY
Stephen, Albert and Jack – wine smugglers and best friends, but disaster has left them lost at sea and low on food. Hunger can do terrible things to good people.
It's an escape into nature for Annie and Jenny, but then Jenny disappears and the woods take on a new nightmarish identity. Can Annie hold it together long enough to figure out what is going on?
Sam has a band, but he also has an office job – he has to sneak out early if he's going to make the gig in time. Will his boss notice, and is he risking a good job for a stupid dream?
Steph and Jonny are almost tricked into smuggling a package into England. When they realise what's happening, they initially decide to tell the authorities, but then greed takes over as they see a chance to make money. Will they pull it off and live the dream, or will the criminals of Los Angeles do what they do best? – kill them without leaving a trace.
Caught up in the revolution and fighting for the freedom of Egypt, Asim has become a skilled solider. He draws on all his focus as he clears another building. One slip in concentration can be the difference between being the killer or the killed.
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Seven Stories High by Alex South
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author Alex South.)
Story 1 – copy and paste
This is a quirky little story about a boy who finds that he replicates himself every time he leaves a room! This was actually quite funny – I found myself laughing out loud at times. It was quite short, but the ideas and writing were really good! Great first story.
Story 2 – Letters
This is another funny little story about a boy who keeps finding letters in his locker written in green ink, which tell him that he is going to bring about a new world. I think my favourite line from this story was; ‘I went to Blackpool because it was the dodgiest place I knew’
So funny and so true! Blackpool is definitely dodgy! This again was quite a unique, quirky little tale that really made me laugh! There was also a little twist to the tale right at the end that I appreciated too! Great story.
Story 3 – Sea of Mercy
I didn’t really like this one. It’s very short, and it revolves around three men on a boat, and the plan of two of them to kill and eat the other to prevent starvation. There is a twist to it, and the fear of the main character is very real. A little haunting and unsettling for me I’m afraid, I’m not likely to forget it anytime soon though!
Story 4 – Annie
Story about a quite frightening vision that a girl Annie has. I’m not sure if she’s high or crazy or what! Pretty strange really. The author does have a real gift for weaving such a vivid picture in so few words though.
Story 5 – Trucker
Strange little tale about a bloke who has to skive off work to get to a rock concert that he hopes will be his big break. He runs into several problems that nearly end his dream, and comments on how nothing ever goes right for him. Not really sure what to make of this one! I suppose it’s supposed to be a bit of a sod’s law story? If things can go wrong they will.
Story 6 – Mule
Story about a couple who are given a suitcase to take on a plane. They suspect that there are drugs inside, so they open it up, find coke, and then set out to find someone to sell it to. Bit of a crazy idea really. The story was alright but I didn’t like it as much as some of the previous stories. I just didn’t really connect with the characters, and didn’t really care what happened to them.
Story 7 – Freedom Fighter
Story about a guy with a gun, who thinks people are creeping up on him? Sort of a war-esque story. Another one that I’m not really sure what to make of. This one was literally 2 pages long on my kindle fire, and I just didn’t get it at all. Not one of the better ones in this anthology.
Overall; Liked the first two stories, but the others weren’t really my thing. The author really does have a gift for writing short tales though!
7 out of 10.