The last time I reviewed a book published by Meerkat Press, it was Beast Heart back in March here. That review was ambivalent. So I was surprised to receive an invitation from Meerkat to participate in the blog tour for The Road to Woop Woop, a single author short story anthology by Eugen Bacon. I've never read Eugen Bacon, and short story anthologies have been widely characterized as being like a box of chocolates. So I could only expect to be surprised. Accepting a blog tour invitation for such a book is a risk for all concerned. Would it be a good surprise?
Eugen Bacon’s work is cheeky with a fierce intelligence, in
prose that’s resplendent, delicious, dark and evocative. NPR called her
novel T-Mo ‘a confounding mysterious tour de
force’. imbues the
same lushness in a writerly language that is Bacon’s own. This peculiar hybrid
of the untraditional, the extraordinary within, without and along the borders
of normalcy will hypnotise and absorb the reader with tales that refuse to be
labelled. The stories in this collection are dirges that cross genres in
astounding ways. Over 20 provocative tales, with seven original to this
collection, by an award-winning African Australian author.
RELEASE DATE: DECEMBER 1, 2020
GENRES: COLLECTION/SPECULATIVE FICTION/DARK FANTASY
MEERKAT PRESS BOOK PAGE
I am a big advocate of responsible journalism, but I am not a fan of media outlets that engage in irresponsible journalism. That's why I liked "Scars of Grief", the story about the shutting down of a tabloid. The quote that stood out for me was "That infected ink will never hurt anyone again." I did wonder why Eugen Bacon felt so strongly about this issue.
Another story that stood out for me was the final one, "Playback, Jury of the Heart" in which a man healed from a psychologically disastrous break up. I thought that a woman who played a central role in his recovery, who called herself a "body artist", was quite extraordinary.
There were other stories that I considered good, but didn't impact me as much. There were also a number of stories that didn't impact me at all for personal reasons, but I still thought that every story in this anthology was well written.
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