Archive for the ‘Hodgson, Amanda’ Category

Microlives: A Compelling Collection of Flash Fiction Stories by Amanda Hodgson

December 1, 2019

A review by R J Dent

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In her previous collection of short stories, Feed the Need, Amanda Hodgson looked unflinchingly at eating, food, digestion and consumption in all of its various permutations.

Microlives, subtitled, A Compelling Collection of Flash Fiction Stories is exactly what it says it is; a very compelling, and a very contemporary, collection of flash fictions about people linked by a specific location. And in Microlives, Amanda Hodgson shows us around a small block of flats in an unnamed city and introduces us to a range of characters, all going about their lives, trying to cope, trying to live, trying to survive, all trying to find tiny slices of joy in their hard existences.

As Amanda Hodgson warns: ‘Ria is tired. Pat is praying. Liam likes feet and Billy likes films. Microlives takes the reader to a small block of flats to hear the voices within. Find out why Claire is screaming and Join Della as she revisits her past.’

And we, as readers, do find out, although Amanda Hodgson offers no easy or pat solutions to the myriad problems life throws at her characters, with several of them unable to achieve any real sort of redemption at all.

The stories in Microlives are realistic, but they are most definitely not from the George Eliot or Thomas Hardy school of realism. Amanda Hodgson’s prose, influenced as it is by Jenny Diski (The Vanishing Princess, Nothing Natural, The Dream Mistress) and J.D. Salinger (Franny and Zooey, The Catcher in the Rye), is more akin to J.G. Ballard (High-Rise, Concrete Island) with her iced-scalpel turn of phrase and her psychological insights.

The stories in Microlives reward close reading because they give us (as readers) a better understanding of certain human conditions, human needs, and minor, but nonetheless important, human achievements.

Product Details:
Title: Microlives: A Compelling Collection of Flash Fiction Stories
Author: Amanda Hodgson
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 1207 KB
Published: August 2019
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Language: English
ASIN: B07YK1Z56T

Microlives: A Compelling Collection of Flash Fiction Stories by Amanda Hodgson is available to buy here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Microlives-Compelling-Collection-Fiction-Stories-ebook/dp/B07YK1Z56T/ref=sr_1_3?qid=1575210558&refinements=p_27%3AAmanda+Hodgson&s=books&sr=1-3

 

Feed the Need by Amanda Hodgson

June 14, 2015

 A review by R J Dent

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Feed The Need

by Amanda Hodgson

 

Amanda Hodgson’s Feed The Need is a book of seven stories that focus on eating disorders, food cravings, hunger, comfort eating, and the psychological and the physical need to feed.

 

The stories in Feed The Need are one-word titles. With the exceptions of ‘Perfection’ and ‘Succour’, the titles are the names of each story’s protagonist. In this collection we meet ‘Cathy’, ‘Meryl’, ‘Lily’, ‘Shemla’, and ‘Gemma’. Ms Hodgson introduces us to their complicated lives and shows us their food-related strategies for coping with a harsh and complex world.

 

The best stories in this moving collection shake themselves free of traditional endings and give the protagonists the expansiveness of the interior life, the poetry of feeling, and the blurred edges of personality.

 

There are cautionary tales here; there are celebratory stories here; there are horror stories here. The stories in Feed The Need are not kind or friendly. They are not escapist fictions. They are, according to the author, ‘Seven sour stories about eating’. It’s an apt description, because these stories will sink their teeth into you and continue to hold on long after you’ve finished reading.

 

Be warned.

 

Feed The Need is available at:

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00ZARMJMA?%2AVersion%2A=1&%2Aentries%2A=0

and at:

http://www.amazon.com/FEED-NEED-Amanda-Hodgson-ebook/dp/B00ZARMJMA/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1434321844&sr=8-6&keywords=FEED+THE+NEED

Feed The Need

by Amanda Hodgson

A review by R J Dent

Copyright © R J Dent (2015)

www.rjdent.com