Monday, August 29, 2016

100 by 100: Stories in 100 Words by M.L. Kennedy

Book cover for 100 by 100100 by 100 is a collection of 100 stories that are each 100 words long. Mathematically, that makes each worth 1/10 of a picture. Some of these 0.1 pictures are scary, some are funny, some are funny and scary, while others are just odd.

Reading this book reminds me of beer (or wine) tastings. When you finish sampling one and wish to try another, it is recommended that you cleanse your palate with some water. Your resetting your taste buds so that your new taste experience won't be unduly influenced by the previous sample. This book is like that. When switching from one novel to another, this book would serve as a great literary palate cleanser. It's refreshes your brain and has the bonus side effect of entertaining it as well.

Most of the stories have a twist at the end. But as I think about it, how else can one neatly wrap up a story that's only one hundred words long? The author quickly sets up the premise and then (bam!) there's the ending. I found that 93% of the stories worked (I kept track), and most of them relied on that format. It didn't matter if the twist was spooky, ironic, or humorous. That's what worked. Those that didn't just trailed off.

The stories cover the gamut from quirky sci-fi, suspense & horror, bizarre fantasy, and conversational satire. Santa Claus, vampires, clowns, ghosts, interdimensional travel, and alien invasions all make appearances. With a few exceptions, the stories remain light-hearted.

If you've just finished some 500-page behemoth and you're not ready to start the next one, but you need to read something, then consider 100 by 100. It's light and refreshing, and you'll be done with it in no time.

To learn more about 100 by 100 or M.L. Kennedy, please visit his website.

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