I have recently read a book called Rags and Bones. The layout of it is overall very different from most books, as it is not one book, but rather 12 short stories packed together. Due to this massive amount of text I will not review every story but tell you about my three favorite stories. My third favorite story was called Uncaged and is written by Gene Wolfe. The basic plot of the story is that a man receives a letter from someone named Marthe Hecht begging him to save her from being imprisoned in a cell because she feels that he would be nice enough to do so. The man goes and after traveling through Africa arrives and saves her. It is here that the plot begins to twist as you learn details that suggest the woman is not who she seems to be.
The man however, believes the woman and eventually made her his wife. Once home though, he must deal with the increasing amounts of evidence against his new wife.
As this was my third favorite story out of twelve this one is (at least as I believe) very good, specifically because of the good writing and original problem. The writing is very descriptive where it needs to be but, unlike other stories like this it only goes into details when they are interesting to the reader.
The problem, as I stated above is very original and makes you think about if you should be so caring towards everyone in your life. Still sometimes the mystery seems a bit obvious and I would recommend a reader that focuses on the writing style rather than a mystery reader.
My second favorite story was called Without Faith, Without Law, Without Joy, and it is written by Saladin Ahmed. The plot revolves around a man who cannot remember his name and can only call himself by the name which has been given to him by the evil man who hunts him, Joyless. He has been taken to a placed called the Albion for the sole purpose of being hunted for fun. He soon sees all his brothers die and finally faces the evil Redcrosse himself.
While this story may seem odd because of how symbolic the characters and struggles are, I liked the way the author does this. The way the story is told, it becomes very much like a Greek epic, except without the familiar figures. Also, even though the story is succinct due to it being a short story, I think the author really makes the most out of his words.
All in all I would recommend this to someone who likes a heroic journey with a twist in it.
My favorite story in the entire book was called Losing Her Divinity, by Garth Nix. The story is set in a typical fantasy world. It starts with a man narrating what has happened to him when he is being interrogated. The man was in a carriage when he finds a goddess of a certain city with him. She explains that she is escaping from her home city in order to become mortal. Later at the man’s house she comes back having succeeded in becoming mortal but not in the way she wanted.
While the plot is not much in itself, what really made this story the best out of twelve was the way Garth Nix tells it. Instead of being serious the narrator frequently makes jokes and gets sidetracked talking about relatively useless things while the interrogator frequently makes threats about killing him for not telling his story clearly. Making fun of everything from grammar to the people in the fantasy world, the author manages to make this seemingly dry plot come to life. This story would be perfectly suited to anyone who can enjoy a comedy.
-Sean Patten, Grade 8.