Jonathan Pinnock - Writer of Stuff

NO SOONER THE WORD THAN THE FICTION

DOT DASH in The Short Review

cropped-shortreviewThe excellent Short Review (to the best of my knowledge, the only magazine that focusses exclusively on short story collections) has just turned its spotlight on DOT DASH. Fortunately, it’s a generally positive review, although I was a bit apprehensive when I read the first full paragraph:

A couple of pages in, I began to wonder what strange forces had possessed me to request Dot Dash.  I’m a habitually po-faced reader.  I gravitate toward books that are sad and harrowing.  I like to claw through a couple of hundred pages in which nothing much happens only to feel emotionally wrenched at the end.  Yet I had unwittingly invited Dot Dash onto my bookshelf.  It was shooting jokes at Steppenwolf and trying out cheesy chat-up lines on The Bell Jar.

The good news is that, despite this, DOT DASH seems to win her over and by the end, I get the feeling that she actually quite enjoyed reading it. It’s a very thoughtful review, even if it does go straight to my insecurity about being a bit lightweight. (Yeah I know. I wrote a book called “Mrs Darcy versus the Aliens”, didn’t I? Not exactly Proust.) Maybe I shouldn’t worry. Maybe that’s what I am. There are worse things to be, after all.

Dot Dash is like a good pair of hiking boots: light but solid.  The stories skip and stride through precipitous versions of reality.

I’m pretty certain this is the first time my work has been compared to an item of footwear. On reflection, I’m OK with this.

Quite by chance, TAKE IT COOL gets a bit heavy today, with my attempt to calculate how many slaves Philip Pinnock owned. It’s not a pretty part of the story, but I think it has to be addressed. By the way, if you’ve somehow managed to miss the story so far – or indeed, haven’t managed to keep up – another one of those useful “Previously on TAKE IT COOL…” posts appeared the other day. So no excuses then.

 

2 Comments

  1. I thought it was a pretty encouraging review, considering the impression from that first paragraph is that Sara had set out almost determined not to enjoy it. She does indeed seem to be won around by the end. The only unfair criticism was aimed at “the noisy and buffoonish book jacket” – I think the cover’s very classy (or is she referring to something else? Do you own an actual jacket made from actual books? That would be fairly buffoonish, I suppose).

    Also, I think you’ve stumbled across a great name for your second collection. “Not Exactly Proust” by Jonathan Pinnock has a certain something to it, don’t you think? ;-)

  2. admin

    October 2, 2013 at 10:22 am

    I was a bit baffled by the comment about the jacket, too. I do like the idea of an actual jacket made from actual books, though. I think it would look a bit like this: http://www.firebox.com/product/5903/OppoSuits-Test-Signal.

    “Not Exactly Proust” might just work, too…

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