Thursday, May 3, 2012

Review: Sandstone

Sandstone by Jesse Crockett

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Fiction Reading Level: Adult

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this eBook from the author’s website; he has requested an honest review.

Synopsis: Story of youthful adoration, spanning twenty years, science and urban fantasy, set in the slipstream, following forth from existentialism. 32 pages.

My Thoughts: First of all, a shout-out to my Kansas buddies – Lawrence, Kansas mention, yo, REPRESENT!

One of the reasons the author wanted me to read his book was to see if I would recommend him to do editing. Evaluating someone’s editing technique from reading their own work – written and edited – is tough, because it is really difficult to edit your own work. You’re just too close to it, and therefore your eyes will skip right over the top of stuff. As a result, there are a number of errors in the story – extra words, sentences that are awkwardly worded, and stuff that just doesn’t make sense. BUT... and there is a but... this doesn’t mean he wouldn’t do just fine as an editor. There weren’t any typos, for instance, or misused words that I noticed, and it is obvious that he did go over this fairly well, for doing his own editing.

And now, I do want to provide a review of the material. The synopsis may seem vague, but it’s about as much as one can describe the story without creating spoilers. It’s really kind of hard to follow, although it’s a pleasant, dreamy sort of read.; the language is almost poetic, and quite lovely The problem is that the author tries to get too many ideas into too short of a story. Changes are too abrupt, not adequately explained, and confusing. If expanded into a full novel, where everything could be fully explained and explored, this would probably be a pretty cool story - I certainly liked some of the ideas touched on, despite the lack of follow-through, and would have loved to hear more about things like the mood ring, for instance. But my brain was just always trying to keep up – is this really happening? Is it a flashback? Is this current? Is this a movie? What’s going on?

Well, it is described as being set in slipstream and following forth from existentialism, so what did I expect, right? I should point out that I enjoy a cerebral story, something that has meaning and weight to it; but at the same time, I don’t really like having to read and re-read a sentence or even a paragraph over and over again to try to figure out what is being said. A happy medium must exist between brain fluff and the sort of writing that makes ones eyes cross when one tries to read it. This is something that this author needs to work on – I had to work way too hard to read this story. It took all my concentration; I even had to turn off my music, which I had on whilst editing, because it was distracting me. When reading a short story requires more concentration than editing, then I know that something needs to be done.

However, again, it might be that I’m just tired. So, I would recommend you check this out for yourself, especially if you like existentialism and stream-of-consciousness sort of science-fantasy. I’d give it a 4 for technical merit and general lovely language, a 2 for my personal feelings towards, it, with an average, overall score of 3 out of 5 stars.

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