6.05.2015

Review of A Change of Mind and Other Stories


Blurb:
A Change of Mind and Other Stories consists of a novella, four short stories and one flash fiction piece. This collection puts the extremes of human behaviour under the microscope with the help of lashings of dark humour, and includes four pieces previously published in Writer’s Muse magazine.
 
In "A Change of Mind," Reuben is an office worker so meek and mild he puts up with daily bullying from his boorish male colleagues as if it’s just a normal part of his day. But when a stranger points him in the direction of a surgeon offering a revolutionary new procedure, he can’t pass up the chance to turn his life around.
 
But this isn’t your average surgeon. For a start, he operates alone in a small room above a mechanic’s. And he promises to alter his patients’ personality so they can be anything they want to be…
 
In "Marissa," a man who is determined to find evidence of his girlfriend’s infidelity ends up wondering if he should have left well alone.

"The Dog God" finds a chink in the armour of a man with a megalomaniacal desire to take over the world.
 
In "The Insomniac," a man who leads an obsessively regimented lifestyle on one hour’s sleep a night finds a disruption to his routine doesn’t work for him.
 
"Hole In One" sees a dedicated golfer achieving a lifelong ambition.

"The Loner" ends the collection on a note of hope as two family members try to rebuild their lives after they are torn apart by jealousy.
 
Christine's review:
A collection of wonderfully dark stories that takes the reader on a terrifying psychological journey. The title piece, "A Change of Mind" is about Reuben who has spent his life being beat down by bullying. Not only by coworkers and peers, but by his own family. A barkeep directs him to a surgeon who can perform a procedure that will change his life forever. It's not what you expect at all, and certainly not what Reuben expects. It could be a dream come true or a nightmare. I loved getting into Reuben's mind, as bleak as his world was, and I was on the edge of my seat until the end of it.

Each story was well written and had its own little twist. They yanked me from one emotion to another, digging deep into me with just a few words. I particularly liked "The Insomniac" which was about a man who lived on only an hour's sleep. Something changes in his extremely regimented routine to mess up his sleep pattern and it's a surprise what a little thing can do. The little things do matter.

Purchase Links:
 
Find Nick on:
 
Head on over to Nick's blog to enter his giveaway for a chance to win his book!

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It was only in recent years that I started to enjoy reading short stories. It is amazing how much impact a few thousand or even a few hundred words can have on a reader. What is your favorite short story?

23 comments:

  1. Great review! I definitely plan to check out Nick's story collection one of these days. It sounds fantastic!

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  2. I saw A Change of Mind featured on another blog earlier this week. It looks good. Very good. And will no doubt enlarge my tower of unread work very soon.

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    1. Always happy to help enlarge that tower! :)

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  3. I've always enjoyed reading short stories, and I admire those who can write them well because it's hard to do. Annalisa Crawford writes amazing short stories.

    Looking forward to checking out Nick's collection. I love the concept of the insomniac story—possibly because I am one. :) Congrats, Nick!

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    1. I'm still working to learn to write great short stories. I love Annalisa's too.

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  4. I've been seeing Nick's book on a # of blogs. Great to hear a new take on it. I also enjoy reading short stories.

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  5. Nick's collection looks great! Thank you for the review! One of my most recent favorite short stories was Restore by Susan Kaye Quinn. The MC was a low-AI type robot, and it was fascinating getting into its head.

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  6. Ooo, juicy sounding read. Will have to check it out. Arthur C. Clarke wrote some of my favorite short stories.

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    1. Clarke's was some that I picked up when I started really reading short stories. Fantastic stuff!

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  7. I love short stories! Go, Nick!
    Although I love novel sized stories, I think short stories are the perfect amount on a busy day. I try to keep a few collections on my kindle and in my house (paperback). My favorite short story . . . Dragon 4-2-Niner - I think that's the title. It's in an anthology of stories originally published in Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine, and it's all about how a Princess must fight off her jealous (and somewhat crazy) sister to rescue her sweet dragon. :)

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    1. It's always nice to grab a little story here and little there. :) I've submitted to that magazine and one of Bradley's anthologies, but no luck yet.

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  8. Nice review! Nick's collection is on my list to read.

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    1. Thanks! He should be on everyone's list. :)

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  9. My son loves stories like this. I'll have to pick this up for him. :)

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

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    1. I highly recommend it for speculative fiction lovers.

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  10. Great review, Christine. Sounds like a great collection.

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    1. Thanks, Jeff. I have no doubt you'd like it too.

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  11. Nick's book sounds amazing!!! Great Review, Christine!!

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  12. Thank you so much, Christine! This has made my weekend!! :D

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  13. Awesome. I'm pretty sure I'm going to live Nick's book. Can't wait to get started.

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