Monday, April 28

Flatland Reviewed

Just finished re-reading Mike's story Flatland in order to get me into the right frame of mind to write it's review. So here we go ...

Overall a good story, with just one or two spurs present that distracted me. The plot was engaging an the idea original. As to what I found that distracted me during the ready, an example of a spur would be this: I can understand one child falling off the edge, or some falling wanting to find their friends, but why do all children eventually go over the edge? In one case the children have to physically break out of their locked room to get to the edge and disappear. They made a choice. Why? If the children all disappeared inexplicably one-by-one or in groups that would fine. But in some cases it is inexplicable in others the children made a choice. That's a spur and it nagged at me. But the nagging spurs are forgotten as the story comes to a close . . .

We become more interested in the main character, Fotheringay, when he becomes the last person in Flatland. This is perhaps the last 10 percent of the story but where at near the middle I was speeding through to see what happens I now slowed down, reading every word slowly, feeling for Fotheringay, waiting for the end. A pretty good ending too, not that it resolves anything but it is very suitable to the story and the character. A much better ending that Caterpillarman.

Though there isn't much character development Fotheringay plays himself well. Everything Mike makes him say or do just seems so right. I think this is one thing that makes for a good story, the characters just flow naturally, and Mike has done it very well with Fotheringay. Especially giving him a phrase to use 'In life as in business'. I'm sure this is a literary tool because I can spot when Mike uses it in his stories (If I spot it does it mean it's used well? That I am looking too hard? Or that it's not subtle enough? Food for thought . . .) Strangely enough that tool was not used in Caterpillarman I wonder what that means?

Does it mean the stories are of different styles/types? Does it mean that to engage the reader in a certain way it is useful but if you want the reader engaged or to feel a different way it is not? Now that Mike has made me think of this I'm almost wanting to write a story myself to see!

PS Happy Birthday Mike!

Sunday, April 27


Following up on my review of Caterpillarman I've read a second of Michael's stories, this one called Flatland. Very much enjoyed the story but don't quite have time to put up up the review just yet though; it took me too long to find the appropriate picture for this post and it's now time to hit the sack. Will be back tomorrow with the full review ...

Monday, April 14

Summer 1991!

For those wanting a good laugh here is a picture of me and my friend Vincent taken summer 1991. Now you know why I keep my hair short now!

Wednesday, April 9

Up, up and away!

I went Scott to try out the Sydney Indoor Rock Climbing Gym near St Peters this weekend with Scott. We had heaps of fun! This place was much better then the other place I went to. It's much bigger and even has a section with walls for kids. I hate to say it but the first time we went Scott and I only did the kid walls!

To be fair one reason we did them is that the kid's section is much less crowded. On weeknights there are very few people using them (and no kids) and the walls are not at all easy, so great for beginners. The second Scott and I went was on a weekend and we did the 'regular' walls. The first few walls are not hard either. They differ from the kid's section in being taller by maybe an extra 5 meters. Of course then there are some really tough walls but we're not ready for those yet.

There is also a small bouldering section which we tried. Like the other place I went to the bouldering section is hard and not really for beginners but we were able to have fun and find a few problems we could finish. Bouldering was definitely more tiring and I could really feel the burn in my forearms!


My friend and up-and-coming auteur celebre Michael John Grist, has had two of his stories recently published. I've had the time to read on of the stories, Caterpillarman, and it's pretty darned good! Nice use of words and syntax and since the story is so abstract at points it really makes you think.

My only critique is that I would have ended the stories four sentences earlier though, when the hole closed. The last four lines made the ending seemed a little bit contrived and (in my lowly opinion) didn't add anything. Leaving as-is four lines earlier would have left me thinking much more; thinking "what happens next."

Still I like all of Mike's stories and look forward to reading next one!

Tuesday, April 8

Around my place

I moved into my apartment last week and this weekend I decided to walk around my place to get a feel for where I live. The area around here is called The Rocks and it's a nice walk around here with quite a few buildings with nice architecture. In the picture above you can see the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Walking back towards the city another picture of the Harbour Bridge.