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Shackles and More Gripping Tales Kindle Edition
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James Hanna has been a regular contributor to the short fiction site, Literally Stories, for several years now. His diverse work is always popular and his story, "The Time My Dad Chewed Out a Cop," was chosen as a reader's favorite. His work is entertaining and accessible even though he most often uses his stories to examine the darker side of life with characters who are damaged by their reality.
Whatever the subject matter, James displays an acute perception of the world we live in. He explores the issues of exploitation, boundaries, temptation, social acceptability, the law, and corruption often through the actions of unsavory characters with their own selfish agendas.
James' social commentary is clear throughout his work. Whether it is from the passivity of the old couple in "The Hangings," with their strange acceptance of their pending execution, the innocence of the hustler in "Sam the Poontang Man," who learns that everything depends on who you take money from, or the hubris of the Cop in "Busting Yu Yan," who is willing to use entrapment as a means to an end. All these characters are well-observed and therefore recognizable to the reader.
There is a wryness in all of James Hanna's work and therefore a touch of devilment. He also balances his stories perfectly with a subtle counterpoint. James uses the hidden, unsavory side of our character to fuel the issues in this very colorful and immensely entertaining collection. The stories are multilayered and each one, in its own way, requires some contemplation from the reader. This means that you never truly remove yourself from a James Hanna story. We at Literally Stories believe that this is a great collection of short fiction.
Diane Dickson, Nik Eveleigh & Hugh Cron, Editors at Literally Stories
"Shackles is wise, quirky, sardonic, scary, crass, noisy, and darkly humorous. But most of all it is fun. Big fun. Because the shadows that creep across these pages are not just symbolic of the human condition. They are the human condition at its most perfectly imperfect."
- Robert McGuill, author of Grave Spring and The Outskirts of Nowhere.
--This text refers to the paperback edition.
About the Author
- ASIN : B07YN7PHDC
- Publisher : Sand Hill Review Press; 1st edition (Oct. 1 2019)
- Language : English
- File size : 748 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 190 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #751,144 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from Canada
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I received a complimentary copy of the book from the author via Voracious Readers Only.
Top reviews from other countries
Although the stories were fast-paced, well-mesmerizing and the narration was straight-forward with country style dialogues, I personally found them to be incomplete, more like a snippet from a larger unraveling story.
James Hanna has cleverly incorporated satire in all the stories leading to some bursts of loud laughs while reading the book.
The author uses a language full of vulgarism & the book contains a fair amount of sexual contents, which makes it not suitable for all.
I would not recommend the book to children below 15 years due to the use of extensive profanity and sexual content. For the adults, this anthology is worth a read if you are into prison, convicts and criminal justice and are not affected by strong profanity.
The version I had was the ebook that I read on my phone. There were formatting problems, primarily with changing spacing. There were also a few cases of missing or incorrect words. As an independent author, I absolutely do not dink stars on those counts. But Grammar nazis beware, there is enough to trigger you.
The style is hard to define. I’d might offer a description of “self absorbed.” Many of the stories involved Australia, Prison, and time as a Probation Officer. I get “write what you know,” but I felt an element of bragging in the writing. That detracted from my enjoyment.
This was an adequate read, and I was glad to have it to help while away those long hours on shift. (Reading is accepted by management.) But I’d really rather have had a different work to read.
The description was perfect, since there is no real way to describe all 21 stories without being ridiculously long. I am a BIG fan of short stories. They are the perfect thing to read anytime of the day, when you need to kill time at an appointment, want something short to read before bed, or just need a mental break from work.
I was not previously familiar with the author, James Hanna, but I am sure glad I am now. I was encouraged to check out his book and am very happy that I did. The stories are a great mixture of genres, though most are of the darker variety, which works great for me. I found the majority of the stories entertaining, and at times humorous. Plus, I am always impressed when an author can cram a good plot and character development in so few pages.
I would say my one critique is that I wish the book was longer. I have plans to check out Mr. Hanna’s other works soon.