Verdict: Mr. Knucklez’s intentions are good and the stories are headed in the right direction. Now if he can get them past the draft stage, then he could have something to work with.
The short story format has a clear goal: To entice the reader into fictional worlds with as much brevity as possible. But this doesn’t mean that the characters should be underdeveloped and the narrative plots completely ignored.
In GOD, GRACE AND DUMB LUCK, author Phloyd Knucklez tries his utmost to deliver a collection of short stories about life, love, desire and the general shortcomings of life itself. However, what Knucklez has spun here is a collection of vignettes, at best.
The stories are so short that by the time we are remotely interested in the characters or the tale, they’re already over. The first story, “Part of the Unraveling Process”, reads like a sort of stand-up comedy skit, except for the absence of humor or any kind of introspection. The narrator talks about not being necessary or useful to anyone, and that perhaps he is talking to wrong people. The premise is fantastic, and we expect a deep intellectual argument beyond that reasoning. But it never comes.
All of the included stories follow this strange pretense at being enticing, only to fall short in their delivery at the last minute. It’s not that the stories don’t have potential, but the author fails to connect to the reader, the story and—sometimes—to his own characters.
In “To Plunder and Misrepresent,” the narrator is an unemployed and unmotivated individual who is constantly interrogated by his family and friends about his search for a job. While simultaneously dodging the probing questions regarding his search for employment, he finds lonely spinsters to occasionally cook for him and offer him a place to stay, which he rejects. He goes on to discuss his job interviews, which he miserably bombs, and in the end we just feel like nothing happened. We feel cheated out of the story that never was and a little wary of the rest.
Mr. Knucklez’s intentions are good and the stories are headed in the right direction. Now if he can get them past the draft stage, then he could have something to work with.
~Adriana Delgado for IndieReader