A Man Made Entirely of Bats Synopsis :
A Man Made Entirely of Bats is a collection of short stories and flash fiction by one of Australia’s newest voices. Comedic and absurd, these stories are an entertaining exploration of the concept of super heroes and of the super strange in our world. (Spineless Wonders)
First of all, don’t be put off by the cover of Patrick Lenton’s A Man Made Entirely of Bats. It is full on. The stories in this collection are full on too, but in a wonderfully appealing way. Also, very few are quite as gruesome as the cover art suggests.
This is a collection of bald faced mental jaunts, flights of fancy spawned from the everyday and pop culture references (and animals) abound. Like a lolly jar, as soon as I’d finished one bite sized morsel I immediately went back for more.
The voice came from the corner of the room, where the shadows are thicker and more robust, like a famous person’s hair. It had a British accent, but the kind of British accent that a good actor puts on when he is playing a king from the unspecified past. Like Stephen Fry eating a big mouthful of sponge cake.
From Friends characters (my vintage) and the Olsen twins through to One Direction (pre Zayn’s departure), there are cameos to tickle everyone’s fancy. Some of the flash fiction in particular, such as ‘Wonder Woman’, were absolute gems.
Lenton displays powers of observation akin to the best comedians and his delivery of the surreal is very accessible (the language, if at times verging on crass). There’s no time or need for airs and graces here – Lenton’s casual unassuming confidence shines through.
This collection is often hilarious, but at the same time poignant. From ‘King of the World’,
Jononothan (the owner of an illegal hooch bar named ‘Amy Beerhouse’) accepted piles of change and pocket lint for his bathtubs of spirits, and sometimes even bartered emotions. I remember seeing a young man who had just become a father trade the sense of panic and responsibility he was feeling for a double-handful of gin.
While not for the easily offended (devout, squeamish, etc), if anything is capable of drawing out the childlike whimsy in those of us feeling weighed down by adulthood, it is Patrick Lenton’s A Man Made Entirely of Bats. It sure put a smile on my face. Highly recommended.
BOOK RATING: The Story 4 / 5 ; The Writing 4.5 / 5
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Genre: Short Stories, Humour
This review counts towards my participation in the 2015 Aussie Author Challenge.
Patrick Lenton is a playwright, fiction writer and blogger at The Spontaneity Review. He was a Finalist in the 2013 SOYA Awards. He writes The Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge for Going Down Swinging. His stories have appeared in Best Australian Stories, Seizure and Lifted Brow. He tweets @patricklenton.
* My receiving a copy of this book from the author for review purposes did not impact the expression of my honest opinions in the review above.