Cover Image: Everything Abridged

Everything Abridged

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

A collection of short stories I like, with a creative twist.

Any story collection will have some stories a reader prefers over others.  This is a feature, not a bug.  So while you may not like the stories I do, you'll prefer your own.

The creative twist comes from the dictionary entries Dayle writes for a bunch of giggles throughout the book.  The stories serve as entries, coming alphabetically.  

The longest story is a futuristic hacker dating a sexy Judge Dredd analogue, which is both a criticism of capitalism and hilarious.  

The shortest story is told exclusively through debit card purchases, reminding of this comic that tells a story through GPS locations.  The story in the book is much more in depth and tells a story that made me a little sad.

One story is told through email correspondence for comic book reviews, this was my least-favorite story by a long way and I have a feeling most readers will absolutely love it.  If you do, let me know, the Contact button is at the top.

Highly recommend. 

**I received an advance copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Everything Abridged: Stories from Dennard Dayle is an initially startling but ultimately satisfying trek through our unusual society, by way of alternative and speculative realities. Oh yeah, and some definitional one-liners.

My opening paragraph is a bit misleading. I mention the definitions, the dictionary aspect of the book, as almost a second thought. That may well have been the intention because it allows the power of some of those definitions to sink in without our being fully aware. Don't get me wrong, some of them did not work for me, but that is the nature of a long list of short items. But many of the ones that did work also gave me something to think about, often from a new perspective.

The stories are sometimes humorous, sometimes head-scratching, but each one works once you invest in the premise. These really are stories that can be enjoyed as short works of fiction as well as thought about as social commentary. It is in that second aspect that I think the format of the dictionary works particularly well. Whether any of the entries around each short story are intended to be explicit commentary on it, readers, or at least this one, are compelled to try to make connections. Through that act we are indeed thinking about what each story as well as the definitions mean. Put more bluntly, we are compelled to think, and active reading always leaves a more lasting impression.

While I might hesitate to recommend this to some friends who seem to hate anything even remotely outside the norm I would enthusiastically recommend this to almost everyone else. The stories are good as stories and the structure of the book serves, I think, to make the experience more active.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.
Was this review helpful?