In times when anthologies dwell on prosaic romantic accounts, Fablery presents Ten Shades of Life. From a nail-biting thriller to a spine-chilling ghost story, an exquisite romance to an ingenious fantasy, an adventurous science-fiction to mirthful and remarkable experiences of salaried men, stories of heroes and philosophies of life – it attends to the preferences of all readers.
When anthologies contain stories of one genre, after reading a couple of stories they get predictable and fail to keep a reader’s interest until the end, but a multi-genre book has something to offer to everyone and many things to one reader.
The writing styles of all the writers whose stories are included in this book are grand and the plots so engaging that they will force you to read another page and one another before you finally close the book. The stories will take you on a roller coaster between reality and fiction.
I had picked up this book with huge expectations as the stories were award-winners at the Fablery Contest 2012. Hoping to dig into ten fabulous stories, I had to keep reading for more than half the book to find an interesting one. A multi-genre anthology can be a collectors’ item if the correct pieces of gems are picked, arrayed and glued together correctly. This one went wrong with the first few stories. Another instance of bad editing? Yes. Repetitive words in a sentence, which is the worst example of editing, can be found in this book. If you want to show them as an exhibit in an editing course, go ahead. And call me a grammar Nazi, for all I care.
Since this is an anthology, it deserves individual critique for all the stories. Here:
1. The Incarnadines – Too descriptive a story. I wished the author had concentrated on the plot instead of the narration. There are a few loopholes in the plot. It gives you an impression of a casually written, loose story. Not impressive at all.
2. Red and Gold – Perfectly brought out flavour of the era being written. Quite lucid writing from Monika Pant, I liked her choice of words, using Urdu terms as sweet raisins in a well cooked Pulao. The editor should have been really careful, there are two instances of repetitive words in a sentence in this story.