A strange melody – In The Night Count The Stars

by Janani Hariharan on May 27, 2014

In The Night Count The Stars
Authors: Various
Publisher: Bittersweet Editions
Year: 2013
ISBN: 9780989715300
Rating: ★★★☆☆
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The editor’s note of this compilation states that they ‘searched for stories and images that thrived independently, by their own definitions – islands of unique brilliance.’ Upon finishing In The Night Count The Stars, I can attest to the fact that the various works presented here definitely meet these criteria. This anthology consists of not only stories, but poems, images and even micro-fiction.

There are almost as many pictures in this work as stories, and each of them stands out vividly, a brand of its own. The only common thread between all these works is that they all represent glimpses of the human condition at its most vulnerable, whether it be heartbreak, death, crime, dealing with the decline of a loved one or cancer.

The poem from which the title is drawn, Tale on a Slow Moving Freight by Jack Micheline, was definitely the theme running through the book and personally, was the highlight of this work. The sheer range and diversity of contributors and works in this collection infuse it with a certain freshness and unique flavor that is difficult to recapture. Kudos to the editor, Marco North, for the smooth transition between the various pieces.

To give you a taste of what to expect from this collection, sample this two-line story by Melissa Wiley:

She attended a wedding the day her divorce was legalized. She didn’t bother with trying to catch the bouquet, but ate a large piece of cake with a blue frosted rose on top.

My personal picks from this lot were the golden macaroni, Deliberation, Stars and an excerpt from One Wish Left. Look out for the startling images too, especially the pinhole ones. A rare treasure indeed, in these days of Instagram and filters!

There’s definitely a lot of underappreciated talent to be found within the pages of this anthology; if you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, something to tease your neurons and rekindle your wonder at the beauty and simplicity of the human condition, try this one out.

Is the quirkiness drawing you in? Check out Bittersweet Editions on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube for their upcoming projects!

Written by Janani Hariharan

Wanderer, nature freak and lover of all things science-y. Certified devourer of all printed matter.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Neeti Choudhari May 27, 2014 at 10:54 AM

WOW! I am getting this book 😀

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IndiaBookStore May 28, 2014 at 10:16 AM

Glad the review made you feel that way, Neeti!

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Neeti Choudhari May 28, 2014 at 12:11 PM

Umm but is this book only available as an e-book?

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marconorth May 28, 2014 at 6:32 PM

This is the very first book from Bittersweet editions and yes, for the time being it exists only as an e-book.

Reply

Neeti Choudhari May 29, 2014 at 11:37 AM

Okay thanks! 🙂

pratibha jain July 7, 2014 at 2:14 PM

Really nice review! I always loved short stories and will buy this book for sure 🙂

Reply

Mugdha July 11, 2014 at 10:39 AM

Glad the review made you feel that way, Pratibha! Incidentally, this book exists only as an e-book right now. What do you feel about the ‘e-books versus REAL books’ debate? 🙂

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