For this short fiction review, I decided upon a very short collection of short stories that is available on Smashwords. I knew nothing about the author or the stories that lay inside this very small collection but I was undeterred as I started “Without It” by Joseph Lawrence.
The author, in his introduction to this very short anthology, says that the book is not an anthology but a “miscellaneous junk heap of rambling.” He admits that he is not fond of the story “Without It” and calls a couple other stories “mood pieces” that he was too unmotivated to expand on. He then forsakes giving a description of the rest of the stories so I will not attempt to do so either.
I would not write a review of this ebook at all except that I am writing it to warn potential readers not to waste their time on this one. The writing is haphazard and sloppy without any real attempt to craft a story. I understand that the author is being self-deprecating in the introduction but the introduction is actually spot on about this book. This is the type of book that gives self-publishing sites such as Smashwords a bad name. The stories in this short anthology do not merit being published in their present form. This is not necessarily a statement on the author’s ability as he seems to realize this but felt compelled to self-publish anyway. I have heard of the author’s novel, although I have never read it, so he may have talent to merit having his work published. This anthology, however, should have stayed on his computer and not made its way into cyberspace.