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Bookworm In Your Ear: Oh the Twists We Tale

From ccting school to the School of the Absurd, these two works promise hours of reading pleasure: one a novel from a fresh, young authoress, the other a collection of short stories from an undisputed mistress of the form.

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio, available at Fully Booked

Seven fourth year drama students at a special college similar to Juilliard or RADA are the main characters in this crime drama that is suffused with performing Shakespeare and being close friends and rivals at the same instant. Richard is the bright star who gets most of the lead roles, while James is his closest competition. Alexander, blissfully stoned most of the time, plays the villain roles, while our narrator, Oliver, is the 'nice' one, stuck with the best friend parts. The girls are Meredith, the ravishing beauty, Wren–Richard's cousin, and Filippa, the 'quiet' one. It's when Richard dies in what seems to be an accident that our plot thickens and ethical questions of whether standing by to let him expire is a crime unto itself. Strong, terse writing with a great sense of atmosphere.

 

Knots by Gunnhild Oyehaug, available on Amazon.com

Hailing from Norway, Oyehaug has gained a keen reputation over the years for producing dynamic Fiction in the short story format. An urban fabulist, she dabbles in the surreal and the mundane within a single story, using the inherent tension to come up with something unique. Like the story of a man with an uncuttable umbilical cord; while the mother-son relationship is written about, she also writes about how the man handles the situation as he grows up, dates, and marries. There's humor mixed with social commentary, pithy observation and a sense for the absurd. A young girl dreams of being a concert pianist; but badly needs to pee before performing. An overriding theme is that of her 'heroes' tying knots in themselves, and in their relationships with others.