Book Review: Porcelain by Jess C. Scott

A collection of both new and previously published short stories, poems, sketches, and essays, by Jess C Scott. Porcelain offers a personal draft of the author's navigation through a world that is fantastical, offbeat, ironic, unexpected, and true.

CONTENTS: 20 short fiction, 50 poems, 10 excerpts/essays, 12 illustrations / ~40,000 words.
Those of you who know me know that I am no fan of short stories...I am all about the novels.  I didn't think I liked poetry either, until I read E.J. Stevens' work (From the Shadows and Shadows of Myth and Legend), which I loved.  So I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about Porcelain when I started it.

I have to say that I've never read a book quite like Porcelain before.  The combination of short stories, poems, book excerpts, essays and illustrations was a new venture for me.   Being set in my ways, I have to constantly push myself to try new things.  One thing that struck me is Scott's ability to change voices: her short stories are so unique and different from each other that it almost felt like I was reading the work of several authors.  I think that this is a talent that will set her apart and become a defining trait.

Scott also includes some of her correspondence with publishing agents and a manifesto about independent versus traditional publishing.  She has an anti-establishment bent that I (who would never dare to buck the system) can appreciate but could never relate to until reading her work.  The publishing manifesto, I think, affected me the most, because it was so informative and made me look at the literary world in a totally new way.

This is exciting---how often do we get something for free?  Visit Jess Scott's website and download the e-book, Porcelain, for free here.  

Just One Gripe: 
The four essays at the end of the book were essays Scott wrote for her college classes.  While reading them left me with an appreciation of Scott's intelligence, it felt like schoolwork to me.  They made the book's conclusion feel really drawn out and dry.

The Best Thing About This Book: 
It is quirky and clever.

Appropriate for a younger audience: 
Hmm, it's questionable...parents, read it first and then decide.

My  score reflects my personal enjoyment of this book.  I would probably feel much differently if I liked short stories more than I do.  I'd love to know what you think---read the book for free and let me know!

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