Freaks. Caroline Smailes, Nik Perring (Anglais) Broché – 1 avril 2012
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
Freaks is a beautifully packaged (in the guise of an old fashioned comic book) collection of fifty pieces of flash fiction. Some of the stories were written by Nik Perring, some by Caroline Smailes, and others are a combination of their efforts. In addition, illustrator Darren Craske provides mood-setting comic-book-style illustrations that add greatly to the fun.
Don't get me wrong. There are stories here about people with "legitimate" super powers. One woman, for instance, can duplicate herself by spinning in circles. But even that story is really more about the little girl who has unexpectedly failed to inherit her mother's ability to "photocopy" herself. "The Photocopier" is also a good example of the tone and writing style to be found in so many of these stories. This, for instance, is the girl's reaction to seeing her mother throw off five copies of herself for the very first time:
"I swear to Christ it was the freakiest thing I've ever seen. There was me with wee in me knickers, with six of me mums standing there smiling at me like nutters."
You have to love that image.
"The Photocopier" is the first story in the book and, if I am reading the rather disturbing little tale "Maman, Flying" correctly, that one comprises the perfect bookend with which to end the collection. Opinion about what really happens in this little five-paragraph story is likely to vary from reader to reader - and, for readers like me, from reading to reading - but "Maman, Flying" is the perfect offset to the comic mood of the book's initial offering.
Freaks is a book about relationships - relationships between husbands and wives, lovers, potential lovers, friends, students, and parents and their children - all kinds of relationships. Some of the super powers described in Freaks will surprise you because you might already have one or two of them yourself. For certain, you know someone who has them, and you just might have had some of them used against you.
This one is fun, but there is more here than initially meets the eye. My fellow freaks are sure to enjoy it.
There are people, however, that we would classify as real freaks, not able to intermingle with society, keeping to themselves. You've seen these people: they fade into the shadows, they keep to the sidelines, they are quiet and speak rarely.
Everyone has been a freak at one time or another. That is what makes FREAKS! written by Caroline Smailes, Nik Perring and illustrated by Darren Craske so amazing. They have created a book that is for each and every person who has never felt as if they fit in anywhere.
FREAKS! is a collection of 50 short stories, some written by Caroline, some written by Nik, some written together. The stories are illustrated by wonderful drawings by Darren that bring the story to life in a way that transcends the short story genre.
Part collection, part comic book, part darkness, part hilarity, FREAKS! is a book that goes beyond the short story genre and makes it something all the more incredible.
I knew from the moment that I looked at the cover of FREAKS! that I was in for a treat of monumental proportions. Eschewing the traditional short story, the ones contained in this collection are flash fiction pieces, stories told in comic book form, stories told in mere paragrahps that pack whole pages worth of emotion into very few words.
I read FREAKS! in less than a day. I simply could not put it down. All the stories feature people with superpowers, real or imagined, and give us a brief look into their lives. Some of the stories are funny and downright hilarious, some end with a punch to the gut, some take a twist in the middle and leave you shocked. Others are haunting, harrowing and dark. However, all the stories in FREAKS! are beautiful.
I had a very personal reaction to this collection. I have always felt like a freak, as if I don't belong, as if I was put on this earth to do something but had no idea what it was. I've always felt as if I was outside the norm and have never been sure if the norm was something I wanted to be a part of anyways.
In reading FREAKS! I felt as if I was reading about people I knew. I even recognized myself in a few of the stories. The stories, the characters, feel so personal, as if we are being presented with a moment in the time of their lives. I ached for this book of freaks and wanted them to know it was okay to be who they were.
Though short, the stories are written so well and so deftly that no further words are needed. Caroline Smailes and Nik Perring have outdone themselves with their stories; each can be read in a few minutes, but all of them will stay with you long after you finish reading the collection.
The illustrations are another amazing thing about this collection. Darren Craske has outdone himself, bringing the freaks to life in fantastic black and white illustrations that help the characters to jump off the page. The illustrations are so good that I felt I was reading a pulp comic book from days gone by. The stories are amazing and the illustrations just add to the over all perfection of the book.
I finished reading the paperback book yesterday morning and am reading the eBook now. While I love eBooks and primarily read everything on my iPad, FREAKS! is a book that you will want to hold, a book where you will want to thumb through the pages. Though I love eBooks, do yourself a favour and get the paperback. It's well worth double the price you'll pay for it as the stories will stay with you forever.
Whimsical, haunting, hilarious and harrowing, FREAKS! is like nothing you have ever read or will read afterwards. FREAKS! has turned the genre of the short story into a revolution. The literary world will never be the same again.
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