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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Book Review: Blood Picnic and Other Stories

Disclaimers: Tony is an online acquaintance. This review also appears at Smashwords and the Kindle Store under my real name.

I admit I started reading "Blood Picnic" with a preconceived notion: that a book of less than 30,000 words would be a quick read, something I could knock off in an evening. It took much longer to finish, even though it held my interest all the way through.

Price/Length: $2.99 / 29,000 words

Synopsis: Tony Noland is a regular participant in #FridayFlash on Twitter, and "Blood Picnic" is a collection of 28 of Tony's flash (1000 words or less) pieces. He helpfully groups them by genre: fantasy, literary, horror, and magical realism.

Storytelling: five stars. Tony packs a lot of story into a flash, and there's 28 of them. I bought this book wishing he'd made it longer, but the stories are well worth reading. I'm one of those people who likes the "peek behind the curtain," so an introduction — maybe at the beginning of each genre section — would have been a nice plus.

Writing: five stars. Tony's a versatile storyteller, and does a great job of making his writing voice fit the story.

Editing: four stars. There's a few typos, but Tony says "perfection is the goal." He has already re-released "Blood Picnic" after making corrections. This is one of the better-edited indie works. I'd like the story titles to have a "section break" to start at the top of a page, is the only formatting issue I saw.

Summary: This one's worth your time. Tony put a lot of work into making it the best he could.


  1. Nice review, FAR! I think an introduction to each section, a peek behind the curtain, as you say, is an excellent idea. It's an idea I will take home with me. Thanks!
    And don't we all love Tony? His Blood Picnic is on my must-buy list.

  2. Thanks, Cathy. Here's hoping you find my idea fruitful! I have yet to write the same kind of "peek" for White Pickups, but I intend to.

  3. This is a generous yet honest review, FAR. A good one! I just miss your opinion on the stories themselves. Tony is a great writer, we all know, but what did you think about those ones?

  4. Good point Mari, I should talk about a few of the stories when I get a chance.

  5. Please let me know when you do. I'm curious to learn your opinion. :)


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