Displaying a confident diversity of narrative voices and brevity in style, this collection of short stories reflects the author’s experiences in Central Australia, China, Mexico, and Russia. In “The Wind and Other Children,” a girl searches for her lost grandmother while her parents quarrel at home; a man contemplates inertia after toxic contamination changes life in a remDisplaying a confident diversity of narrative voices and brevity in style, this collection of short stories reflects the author’s experiences in Central Australia, China, Mexico, and Russia. In “The Wind and Other Children,” a girl searches for her lost grandmother while her parents quarrel at home; a man contemplates inertia after toxic contamination changes life in a remote Australian town in “Extra Time;” and “The Air You Need” finds a woman imagining a mother’s love for her autistic son. An exploration of the human being, this compilation weaves themes of longing, alienation, delusion, resilience, and love. Sometimes dreamy and hypnotic, sometimes comic and wry, these stories leave their mark....
|Title||:||The Rest is Weight|
|Number of Pages||:||252 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Rest is Weight Reviews
The Rest is Weight is a collection of short stories that explores the ordinary and the surreal, the search for human connection, the weight of loneliness, with a mix of wry humor and dark longing. Evoking a sense of place - the dry dusty outback of Australia, a Beijing street, these stories have diverse settings, Mills drawing on the places author Jennifer Mills has spent time in, including Mexico and Russian. There are twenty seven stories included in The Rest Is Weight, mostly around a half a dozen pages long. Some have been previously published but the majority are exclusive to this publication. I found all of the stories beautifully written, Mills demonstrates a wonderful facility with language, deftly conjuring time, place and personality. I was surprised at how easily Mills slips into to such a wide variety of characters, her protagonists are female and male, young and old, gay and straight yet they all convincing.While I enjoyed each of the stories, each very different from the others, a few did stand out for me. 'The capital of missing persons' has my favourite beginning "It used to be known as the murder capital of Australia, but these days Adelaide is the capital of missing persons. Are people getting better at hiding the bodies? Or are the victims leaving, deserting the city before the murderers have a chance?" (p52) I think Hello, Satan (p98)resonates with me because of the small town in which I live, where for some, a bargain with the devil may seem to be their only option to escape the cycle of poverty and dysfunction they are trapped in.Moth (p192) took my breath away and listening to Mills read it on her blog here gives it extra gravitas.Other favourites include The Milk in The Sky, The Opposite of Peace and Heat.The Rest is Weight is a remarkable read, the stories are literary yet accessible, and speak to a wide audience. This is a volume you can dip in and out of at will but I was compelled to read it cover to cover. As I don't often read short story collections and I will admit to initially being nervous about reviewing this book but I am pleased to say The Rest is Weight is easily one of the best collections of short stories by a single author I have ever read.
For me this is an interesting, but uneven, collection of short stories. A couple blew me away and of the others, some impressed me and some didn't. There were a few stories that I felt were almost but not quite there and others I wanted to linger over. Mills is not afraid to experiment, and one thing I like about this collection is that some of the stories give the impression they could have been written by different authors. The opening story, Look Down With Me, holds the kind of horror that seeps into your bones, while in the middle of the collection, A Selfish Prayer is beautifully evocative of the pain of family love mixed with frustration. The Air You Need is a stunningly original story, and Heat is a simple story told with love. Other stories in the collection didn't work for me at all, however, they may be the stories that other readers love. There are definitely some gems in this collection, but the writing was not equally polished across all the stories, and in a few I got the feeling Mills was reaching to express something but just missing the mark. If you're a fan of short stories in all their wild variety, however, this is a collection worth picking up and dipping into, despite its flaws. Recommended.
The Rest is Weight is a short story collection by award winning, poet and novelist, Jennifer Mills. I first came across Mill’s work at a reading in Alice Springs. Mills had just launched The Diamond Anchor and was the guest at a local poetry night. It was there that I picked up a copy of Treading Earth, a chap book of her poetry. This book contains one of my favourite poems to date, Mowing. Mills displays a great talent for succinctly capturing; people, place and emotion. I had appreciated it in her poetry and in Gone. It was most evident to me, however in this collection.The stories are diverse in tone, character and place. With any collection of short stories I often find reading them in one sitting quite difficult. You’d think it would be easier but I do often enjoy the feeling of being immersed in a novel and that doesn’t happen with short stories generally for obvious reasons. Not so with The Rest is Weight, I read it in 2 days, without interruption from other reading work. Mills continually captured my attention and compelled me to read.This is an achievement because when I say the work is diverse I mean it. The first story Look Down with Me is a snapshot of Australia’s dark history of race relations and it pulls no punches. It would sit equally well in a horror anthology and has elements that I find amongst the best purveyors of the weird and dark in fantasy circles.Indeed their are a number of pieces that play in that borderland between reality and fantasy, pieces that stop short of dipping into the fantastical but leave you second guessing yourself, like movement caught in peripheral vision. Reason and Demolition are two such examples. The former is about a ministerial assistant who sees things on the return from visiting an aboriginal community, the later about the possibility of a Fox Spirit living in an ancient townhouse marked for demolition by the Chinese Government.Then there are pieces that are slices of Australian life, relationships brought to life. The Capital of Missing Persons, Hello Satan and The Opposite of Peace. Mills facility for voicing the perspective of the untouchables of Australian society, the mentally ill, the homeless and the imprisoned is evident with The Shipping Views, Plain Indians and Crow Season.I don’t generally read Australian literature, because none of it captures Australia for me. Not so with Mills, her Australia is my Australia - authentic and despite her being from the East Coast originally, I perceive a view from the centre looking out.There’s something for every reader in this book, Mills holds the diverse content together with refined prose and precise, evocative imagery.-----------------------------------------------------------------------Originally posted on Adventures of a Bookonaut
This is a great collection of short stories by a very capable young Australian author.
Desire is a stone in our mouths, we don’t spit it out – we talk around it.http://newtownreviewofbooks.com/2013/...