Book Review: Subject Verb Object: An Anthology of New Writing by Dane Cobain

There is something new and exciting on Joyful Antidotes today – a collection of short stories!

Subject Verb Object: An Anthology of New Writing comprises eighteen short stories compiled by Dane Cobain. Each author provided a short writing prompt (a subject, verb and object in a short sentence) which were randomised and distributed until each contributor received something different from what they submitted. The magic recipe for a collection of really great stories!

I usually tend to shy away from short stories because they just don’t give me the enjoyment that a fully blown novel does. But this was different. It brought me a new appreciation for the craft. It fascinated me just how much the authors were able to say in such a short amount of space, and how relatable the stories were considering their beginning as one abstract sentence. I think what really attracted me, though, was the different writing styles of the authors (I had only read short story collections from one author previously, which often led to dull reading).

Of course, there will be some stories which you won’t like. I found myself skimming through a couple but, overall, there is something for everyone. He swallowed the world by Alex Kimmel was skillfully told by bouncing between two characters, while When the mirror clouds by Dane Cobain was chilling. But, my favourite story just had to be The goat ate the world by Oli Jacobs. Jacobs really grasped not only the desperation of depression but also what it feels like to be the person on the outside, the one looking on at someone in pain and not being able to help.

This book took me just 3 days to read – a sure-fire way to know you are onto a good thing! If you are looking for something a bit different, something that will keep yourself on your toes, you have to check this out. Short story lovers won’t be disappointed.

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

An Anthology of New Writing by Dane Cobain
An Anthology of New Writing by Dane Cobain

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