Monday, July 25, 2011


I'm not at all sure about the blogging world. Is my writing here meant to be polished? Because it's more of a chaotic ramble, which I don't bother to finesse or fine tune. Basically, I go down to a local cafe, type some words on my computer and attach a book cover or picture that I find on google image search and then 'publish post'. All done rather quickly - and probably breeching every copyright law there is.

I hope this suffices. I concentrate on writing fiction and in that genre I'm content to twiddle away for as long as it takes but I won't do that with a blog. For me, they're rough commentaries/reviews that hopefully a few people interested in reading and writing enjoy.

My posts here will never reflect the tasty frothy lattes that I consume while writing them - they are more the instant coffee variety: rough, harsh, vulgar and all that counts is the caffeine hit.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Short Story: 'Troll Bridge' by Neil Gaiman

 "Troll Bridge" by Neil Gaiman

I was immediately drawn into "Troll Bridge" due to its classic fairy tale trope. The story explores the various stages of life of a dark protagonist who starts out as a young unaffected innocent. There's an air of mystery throughout "Troll Bridge" that makes for a captivating narrative. Moreover, it made me want to write a story of my own about life's stages - albeit, with a different structure, context and theme. 

"Troll Bridge" is well worth a read from a technical perspective as a writer. An interesting meta-narrative takes place and it also deals with a lot of time in a relatively limited space.

It's an entertaining and thought provoking tale for readers too. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Short Story: 'Breaking the Pig' by Etgar Keret; and a Commentary on Etgar Keret and 'The Nimrod Flipout'

Short Story: "Breaking the Pig" by Etgar Keret; and a Commentary on Etgar Keret and The Nimrod Flipout

Deborah Hunn introduced me to Etgar Keret with "Breaking the Pig". It was shorter than what I customarily like but its honest style was refreshing and it touched me with the way in which it revealed some simple truths.

It's the story of a quirky boy who has been encouraged by his parents to save coins in a porcelain piggybank. A growing dilemma ensues between buying the treasured Bart Simpson doll or keeping the Piggy Bank, which he has grown fond of. 

Having loved the story, I went a ‘Kereting’. But only discovered one of his anthologies in all of the Perth stores. I bought that book,The Nimrod Flipout, but found many of the 'titbit' stories didn’t quite satisfy my literary appetite. 

The tales are satirical and witty but their limited length prevents them from being what I’d call ‘well composed narratives’. Keret is often more captivated by a story’s concept rather than its actual execution; which causes much of his writing to feel like ‘telling’ summaries of innovative ideas. His flash fiction does, however, illustrate an important insight into modern day Israeli society.  Although there were a few stories that I really admired – the surrealism of Keret’s shorts still make The Nimrod Flipout a worthwhile read - I never found one that quite matched the sheer pleasure I felt on reading "Breaking the Pig".

Keret has been deservedly published in two of my favourite American literary journals: McSweeney’s Quarterly and Zoetrope’s: All Story. I think that Etgar Keret is best read like this – in a collection with other writers; or if you pick up a short story by him on the odd occasion rather than read his work straight through. A little bit of Keret now and then, like a smidgen of vegemite (or caviar for the connoisseur), does wonders, but too much can deaden the effect.