Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Lessons IV: The Dead Carnival and Other Morbid Drabbles / Michael Crane

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Horror/Flash Fiction

Approximate word count: 4-5,000 words

Kindle  US: YES  UK: YES  Nook: YES  Smashwords: YES  Paper: NO
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


Michael Crane is a graduate in Fiction Writing from Columbia College Chicago, his hometown school. In addition to the first three Lessons volumes, Crane has a short story collection, In Decline, and a novelette, A Gnome Problem, available for your Kindle. He has also been featured in many short story anthologies. On rare occasions, Crane will post on his blog


This is the newest collection of Crane’s series of drabbles, which are flash fiction stories of exactly 100 words. This volume focuses on stories from the carnival. Also included are bonus drabbles and other flash fiction from seven of Crane’s indie author peers: Daniel Pyle, M.P. McDonald, M.S. Verish, J.L. Bryan, Robert J. Duperre, Daniel Arenson, and Jason Letts.


Can I make this one-hundred words, like each drabble in this collection? We’ll see. While I wish Crane would apply his demented mind to something longer (a novel, or More Declined, my title for the follow-up to his short story collection with tales of normal people, down on their luck), his fans keep saying “more drabbles.” I see them as bite-size stories. Crane’s typically end with a demented twist. Find out what being a “mark” means and why a blowup doll is a bad date. Pyle’s bonus story shows why you shouldn’t mess with the short guy. Yup, one-hundred words.


Some adult language.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: ***** Five stars


Unknown said...

Congratulations on the one hundred word review. The book sounds good, too...

Rob Cornell said...

Nice to see a fellow Columbia alum get five stars.

Thanks for reviewing, Big Al!

?wazithinkin said...

I think Lessons IV was my favorite book of Michaels drabbles. While I appreciate the skill it takes to write a story in exactly 100 words, I would also like to see some longer stories by this talented writer. :)

BooksAndPals said...

Linda, I'm assuming you've read In Decline.