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Physical Description p. Subjects Short stories, English. View online Borrow Buy Freely available Show 0 more links Set up My libraries How do I set up "My libraries"? These 2 locations in All: Open to the public. Federation University Australia - Gippsland campus library. These 2 locations in Victoria: None of your libraries hold this item. Found at these bookshops Searching - please wait We were unable to find this edition in any bookshop we are able to search. These online bookshops told us they have this item: Tags What are tags?

Brendan Connell's works may be an acquired taste, but from delving into the wealth of writings in this book, he could just become addicting.

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Review: The Life of Polycrates and Other Stories for Antiquated Children

Weird and terrific fun. I co-wrote the story "The Search for Savino," which appears in this collection, with Brendan. I will refrain from any comments regarding the story. These stories are biographical sketches-cum-stories of individuals who descend into decadence. They all start off with differing degrees of affluence, soc Full Disclosure: They all start off with differing degrees of affluence, social acceptability, and sanity, but every one of them seems to dive headlong into the most banal lows of moral turpitude. Brilliantly written, each story is a lesson in the writer's craft.

At turns languid and shocking, Connell clearly has a deft hand for word-painting, with a special talent for understatement and the perfect turn-of-phrase. Intentionally or not, some of the stories come off as emotionally suppressed, while others show an almost manic expression of emotion.

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Perhaps the occasional feelings of emotional flatness result from the work required on the part of the reader to dig the plot from underneath the documents, letters, conversations, and narrations that compose each story. This is not casual reading, but it is absolutely immersive, if the reader takes the time to slow down and absorb the litany of information inferred by context and the subtle nuances of dialogue that hide meaning between the lines.

To me, the most satisfying story was "The Chymical Wedding of Des Esseintes," perhaps because it struck me with the most direct terror, whereas the other stories festered "under the skin," so to speak. Overall, this is a brilliant collection, but not an easy read. Recommended to those for whom plot is secondary and the careful crafting of language is a spectator sport not to be missed.


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Mar 02, Caleb Wilson rated it it was amazing. I love Brendan Connell's prose, with its lists and insertions of strange syntax which resembles a buggy chat bot, and I love the small presses he publishes through. The title story of this collection is an expansion of an anecdote from Herodotus, filled out in such a way peremptory and yet lush as to make the ancient Greek world even more alien than in the Histories--a realm of invasion-prone island paradises peppered with random geniuses, where all on the same day Echoiax invents fish sauce, P I love Brendan Connell's prose, with its lists and insertions of strange syntax which resembles a buggy chat bot, and I love the small presses he publishes through.

The title story of this collection is an expansion of an anecdote from Herodotus, filled out in such a way peremptory and yet lush as to make the ancient Greek world even more alien than in the Histories--a realm of invasion-prone island paradises peppered with random geniuses, where all on the same day Echoiax invents fish sauce, Pythagoras writes his theorem, and the Spartans, while telling terse inscrutable jokes, might attack.

Nov 11, Meels rated it liked it Shelves: Well, this my first win and first read for First Reads The trouble with a book of short stories is that the review rolls around in your head in fragments the whole time you are reading it. And, where you might be quite impressed with one story or indifferent to another you might actively dislike yet a third. In all there were eleven stories in this book, a work of fiction according to the back and everything I read online. However two were based on actual historical accounts The Life of Polycr Well, this my first win and first read for First Reads The Author clearly took some liberties with these two stories, but they were for the most part true.

Polycrates is told like a story more than a historical account, despite the footnotes expounding on the various historical figures as they enter the scene. He cites no historians or other works on the subject. I would say that I half enjoyed this portion. Being Greek and a fan of history in general this should have been right in my lane.

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But, whenever I began to enjoy myself just as the story started to flow; the author would pull me to a halt with an extraordinarily short chapter containing nothing but a list of make-up and face creams some guy had in his ditty bag or the ancient Greek equivelant of a ditty bag. I believe he was reinforcing his point regarding the man's effeminance. However, I had not doubted him when he stated it boldly earlier on.

This list and similar such road blocks along the way kept it all a bit choppy for my tastes. Now, with Polycrates over and moving on to story numero dos I received a rather more violent shock.

Review: The Life of Polycrates and Other Stories for Antiquated Children | Innsmouth Free Press

The second story Collapsing Claude I had no trouble believing as fiction, disturbing, dark and frankly disgusting fiction. Unfortunately for me; I read this story over my lunch hour and it actually put me off my food! The author is gifted at painting a picture with words. While I cannot say that I actually "liked" this story, for it was too repulsive to "like", I felt that Connell did an amazing job in the telling of it.

From here on I think I can just group the remaining stories. Some I liked better than others, some were a bit more rambling. Sometimes the descriptive language got a little over the top for me. As a result I felt more as if I were reading some really dark and disturbing poetry rather than a short story and got a bit lost in the author's verse. It was not bad. I have no fault with the writing itself or the editing. It just wasn't really my thing.

For me, it only got three stars, because I felt that Connell's mastery of description was so well done at times, or it probably would have been two. To someone who enjoys this type of work I'm sure it would be a star book. Nov 25, Austine NovelKnight rated it liked it.

Not Your Average Bear: I expected this collection of stories to be boring, like reading a textbook.

The Life of Polycrates and Other Stories for Antiquated Children

However, I was pleasantly surprised by the dark, somewhat twisted world Connell writes about. The writing took some getting used to, especially at the beginning where the reader is bombarded with unusual names, but it all fell into place and made for an enjoyable read. Connell's writing style is very different from the YA novels I'm used to reading but I still enjoyed the stories.

The Life of Polycrates - Is this real?: As I read the opening novella of this collection, I continued asking myself, "Is this real? Half the time I believed I was reading from an ancient scroll that was a record of Polycrates, destined to rule Samos but forced to take the throne after he was gone for a time. Then it went on to discuss his reign.