Tag Archives: free

Bizzaro Book Review: Sharing by Miracle Jones

Some writers are wonderful storytellers. They spin tales with twists and turns that make the reader hunger for more. Some writers are wordsmiths, constructors of sentences so beautiful they make you want to cry, placing exactly the right word in exactly the right place. These two we know all too well. But there is a third proficiency found in a very small group of writers that is often overlooked. Some writers have great ideas.

Such is the case with Miracle Jones an author who spins concepts so unique, and literary constructions so strange, it’s almost as if they were hand-tailored to be reviewed on this blog.

I picked up Sharing for the same reason I pick up most of my ebooks: it was free. But downloading free ebooks is a haphazard venture at best, the literary equivalent of eating out of a dumpster. Sometimes you might find something worth consuming, but most of it is probably going to make you sick. But as your literary hobo taste-tester, I’ve taken it upon myself to take the plunge to sift through the trash looking for treasure.

When I started reading Sharing, I was certain is was little different than the other failures and fizzbombs from the bottom of the self publishing barrel. The voice was uncertain and shaky, as jagged as broken glass. The characters didn’t quite seem real. And the plot…well at first it seemed as nonexistent, as if the author were simply pulling random weirdness out of the air.

And yet there was this indescribable quality to it. Imagine if you will, walking down the street, minding your own business when out of an alleyway a sound of strange music emerges. You step forward, vaguely intrigued, and there in the darkness you find an old man seated at a weather-worn piano plunking away at the keys. The instrument is out of tune, the player, seemingly amateur, and yet there is something in those discordant tones that keeps you from continuing on your way. You stand there, listening for the pattern in the music, trying to suss out what it is that draws you in so, when suddenly from the shadows, the sound of more instruments begin to emerge. From deep in the shadows come the strains of bent tubas, badly tuned violins, and other musical implements that produce sounds unlike anything you’ve ever heard. And suddenly, the pattern becomes clear. All the pieces fit together, none of them whole on their own, but each somehow striving to a weird synergy of sound that lifts your spirit unlike anything you’ve ever heard before.

That’s what reading this book was like. It was undeniably flawed, and yet also undeniably brilliant.

And, as I mentioned earlier, the weirdness factor was off the charts. Venture into this book and you will meet fantastic cast of characters, seemingly plucked from the darkest of Lewis Carol’s nightmares. There is a bull-like creature with a blade for a horn that flies by means of hundreds of writhing tentacles. There is a talking cockroach who claims to be a fairie. And there is a tiny sentient planetoid, covered by vampiric computers, that projects the psychic image of a cute kitten over itself.

All of these and one ordinary human girl meet in a desert where the sands are ever flowing toward a gaping hole in reality and the only fixed points are a massive cathedral covered in alien runes, and a strangely terrestrial diner.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of the utterly strange. The writing is raw, but in a way, that is part of its charm. This is a work that could only exist in the world of e-publishing. It has its flaws, but if you’re willing to look past them, there is something simply brilliant to be found here.

You can download Sharing for free, here.

“The Mulch Pile” is FREE for All Hallows Read

I just wanted to drop a quick line here that I’m temporarily making The Mulch Pile available for FREE on Smashwords in honor of Neil Gaiman’s All Hallow’s Read celebration.

If you’ve been on the fence about this thing, then now is your chance you download it risk free. All I ask is that you spread the word if you like it. Write a review, tweet the link, tell a friend.

And, if you can, do help me spread the word about this giveaway too. I’d like to see as many people as possible get their hands on The Mulch Pile in the next three days, and you can help make that happen.

Happy Halloween. And happy reading.

An Open Letter to Matthew McClintock

Dear Matthew McClintock,

I hardly know where to begin.  I suppose I should start by saying thank you.  Thank you for the wonderful things you do on your website manybooks.net.  I can’t remember exactly how I stumbled across it, but once I was there, there was no going back.  The interface was so clean and simple, and the selection of eBooks so large that I could scarcely believe such a thing to be real.

I remember starting with the older books, the ones that had fallen into the public domain, and trudging through their stale and stilted prose.  But eventually, as I explored further, I came across the treasure trove of gems and oddities available under the Creative Commons category.  There my eyes were truly opened.  I found works of literature that had long since left the placid waters of the mainstream and were courageously nosing their way into the backwaters and tributaries of creativity.  Some were great works of brilliance, forged from the very essence of originality and crafted with the skill of a master.  But others were amateurish, half-hearted attempts, obviously the product of authors recently inspired, full of exuberance, but badly in need of experience.

And it is for these last, that I believe I owe you the most thanks of all.  Because after I read some of those stories, I realized that anyone could find a place in your roll call of oddballs and outcasts. Even someone like me.  So I filled out the form and sent in my first story.  To this day I remember waking up that night and pulling out my cell phone to check your site only see that my story, had received a whopping total of 71 downloads.  For a writer whose previous readership had consisted solely of his family members it was a moment of pure joy and terror.  The realization that someone somewhere, some stranger I didn’t know, might actually be reading my work was an amazing moment for me.

More than anything, I want to thank you for what you do to make this all possible.  Other than voluntary donations, you charge nothing for the service you provide to the readers and writers of electronic fiction, and the I have had with your site is the best out of any of the eBook publishing websites I have found.  When I have a problem, or need to ask a question about something, I know that there’s an actual human being on the other end of my email.  Other sites might have spiffy and convenient automated update forms, but the human connection you provide is what makes manybooks.net stand out to me.

And so I end as I began, by saying thank you.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Your efforts have given me something I may never have found on my own.  In your own way you have helped to change my world for the better.


Albert Berg