The Yin & Yang Book by Paul Anderson & Jodi Cleghorn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Lately, I’ve been hearing people repeatedly say that we must open our minds and experience new things. I am very much a creature of habit. Most people can set their clocks by me. “What’s Karen doing? Oh, well it must be X o’clock then!”
You can laugh or smile, but I think that’s a bad thing because a creature of habit learns nothing new. I’m trying to become another type of creature right now. I’m not sure what the creature is called, but it steps out of its comfort zone more often, sees new things, reads new things, experiences new things. It doesn’t come naturally for me to do this, but so far the experience has been pretty good.
On 10.10.10 a book was released and in that book is a story written by a long-time friend of mine, Benjamin Solah. I was made aware of the book’s release through an invitation, from Benjamin, to attend the online book launch. Of course, I went. I respect Benjamin and his writing and wanted to show my support. Through that event I was made aware of a book that sounded quite…what can I say…“different”. I made a note of the book’s title on my to-read list and carried on with my day. A few days later I was thrilled when I received notification that I had won a copy of the ebook.
The Yin & Yang Books edited by Jodi Cleghorn and Paul Anderson is a collection of short stories set in an airport. That doesn’t sound exciting in itself, but believe me, the stories are entwined together in a way that forces the reader’s attention. They are filled with intrigue, mystery and humour. One story will tease you with something and another story will satisfy you with the resolution. Several stories might hint at something else and then you’ll be treated with the “real” story later in the book. The characters, because they are written by many authors, have unique voices…yet you feel as if you are reading one complete story written by one person. It is most cleverly done and I was impressed by the high quality of writing by not one or two of the authors, but ALL of them.
Now, going back to Benjamin’s story. He describes himself as a marxist horror writer. He is passionate about many political issues and likes to address these topics in his writing. “Somewhere to Pray (Kurush)” is not an exception. For the duration of however many words the story is, the reader finds themselves in the head of a Muslim. It doesn’t matter what your views are, you’re seeing life through his eyes and you’re feeling his desperation. The story is extremely fast paced and in some ways horrific. By the time you reach the end you’re breathless, ashamed and alarmed. More than that I cannot say without a spoiler, in my opinion. Benjamin writes with passion and his words make you stop and think, even if it’s for a second, and that cannot be a bad thing.
I thoroughly enjoyed this ebook and would happily recommend it.