Short Fiction Review: Extra-Curricular: Tales Told Out Of School by Marc Nash

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EXTRA-CURRICULAR: TALES TOLD OUT OF SCHOOL BY MARC NASH
CREATESPACE, KINDLE EDITION, SEPTEMBER 2015
180 PAGES

AUTHOR WEBSITE

AMAZON.UK

AMAZON.COM

NETI was given a copy by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

WHAT’S IT’S ABOUT

Marc Nash’s fifth collection of flash fiction and his most daring and innovative yet. Tales of Military Bands, Flea Circuses, Dying Languages, Witch Trials, Drones, Gumshoes, Bedroom Physics, Death Squads, Blind Lovers, Junky Angels, Poker Tics, Thermal Imaging Voyeurism, Recycling Etiquette, Plastic Surgery Zombies… 44 tales they didn’t teach you at school but should have been on the curriculum.

Stories included:

  • Night Vision
  • A Round, A Bout
  • Bedroom Ballistics
  • Threads
  • Flea Circus
  • Rebirth
  • Zombie
  • Wrist Assessment
  • Group Therapy
  • People Watching
  • Bas-Relief
  • A Moment In Time
  • Overpass
  • Occupational Hazard
  • Blood Angel
  • Bye Bye Lingual
  • The Conversation Gag
  • Compound Fracture
  • Reading For Two
  • Phonanemic
  • The Word Alchemist
  • Perspective
  • Life Class
  • Performance Anxiety
  • Disbanded
  • The Sky Fell In
  • Confirmament
  • Wings
  • Laundry Lists
  • Message To You People
  • Drones
  • Hollow Point
  • Crowd Sauced
  • The Disenchanted Forest
  • In Triplicate
  • Pinboard Wizard
  • An Ideal Woman
  • Echoes
  • Trading Places
  • Eyes In The Back Of His Hands
  • Clutch
  • Table Plan
  • Johnny Smoke
  • Subjectify

EXTRACT

From Night Vision

He pressed his eye to the thermal imaging camera’s viewfinder and through it peered at the drawn blinds of the house opposite. Satisfied the optic was correctly appointed, he addressed his laptop monitor. It manifested moving blobs of curdled colour. Contour lines of heat seared by the camera’s penetrating photons and thence picked out in pixels on his screen. Pulsing and seething, the iridescent masses of two convulsing human beings.

WHAT I THOUGHT

Extra-Curricular: Tales Told out Of School is a mixed collection of tales. I don’t think they can strictly be classed as flash fiction. I felt some were too long to be classed as such and missed the mark. The collection is divided into school subjects including physics, biology, psychology and history. I found this structure a bit strange at first. Some of the stories fit well in the subject they had been categorised in and others were off the mark. The collection would have worked better if the stories hadn’t been grouped this way. I enjoyed all of the stories in one way or another but I don’t think they carried the collection well and in some cases weakened it. Some of the best stories were Echoes, The Disenchanted Forest, Night Vision, Group Therapy, A Moment in Time, Bye Bye Lingual, Zombie and Clutch. The other stories were just okay. Overall, the collection was uneven at times with the gems such as The Disenchanted Forest lost in the mediocre masses. There are worse ways to pass a few hours than reading this collection.

RATING

3 STAR RATING

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