Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A to Z Challenge 2013 ~ U ~ Unspent Time by Graham Parke

Warning: reading this novel may make you more attractive and elevate your random luck by about 9.332%* 
(*These statements have not been evaluated by anyone of consequence.)

From the award winning author of ‘No Hope for Gomez!’ comes a collection of 20 impossible tales. Permeating the cracks between the past and the present is the realm of Unspent Time. Pockets of ‘should have been’s and ‘might have happened’s. Time that was allotted but never spent. In this realm we find the stories that could have been true. 

Such as the story of Kiala, whose aunt and caretaker disappears one day, leaving her as the sole Huntress to battle the giant octopi to feed her village. Or the revealing tale of Goki Feng Ho: the ancient Chinese art of decoding the meaning of car license plates. And the heartbreaking story of the man responsible for choosing the colors of the insides of your shoes. As he toils away in obscurity, his work impacts society in ways we’ll never fully comprehend. And let’s not forget the story behind Unspent Time itself, the metaphysical ramifications of which will leave the scientific community feeling mostly indifferent about it for decades to come… 

My Review:

I enjoyed all of the stories in this collection from Graham Parke. 

The author's work is interesting and quirky.  Some of the stories were less stories and more small scenes, less than even a page in length.  But all were enjoyable in one way or another. Some of the stories even had comments from the author following them. I think these were great.  They helped to give the reader a better insight into what the author was thinking while writing.
I'm going to review this one the same way I reviewed Apocrypha Sequence earlier this month. Just a few words about each story.  

Sunday Brunch:

This was the first entry in the Unspent Time Omnibus.  It was about a page. It was interesting and the ending was a twist.

Carbon Copies:

This one was a full story.  I thought the story was really interesting.  The way that the main character handled the 'carbon copies' in his life definitely kept me reading.  I kinda figured out which copy was which, but seeing how the main character handled it was definitely drew me in.

Why I Drink Liquid Explosives:

Again this is another one that is less than a page, in fact it is only two paragraphs.  It is more of a statement on modern airplane security issues than a story.  It still however has a bite at the end. This one is more of a 'makes you think' type of thing, and I think it get's it's point across even in small amount of words.

Don't Look Over the Edge of the World:

This is another full length story.  I was drawn into this one.  I like the way the author at the beginning makes it seem to be something completely different than what it is.  There are also quite a few parts that had me laughing.  The only issue I have with this one is I wish there was more to it.  I would love to find out more about the world that is created, as well as what happens to some of the characters.  It doesn't end on a cliffie or anything, I just wish there was more to read.

Goki Feng Ho:

Okay this one was REALLY funny.  Of course now I want to go actually try out the 'art' of Goki Feng Ho...

Favorite White Bones:

Again I expected something completely different from the beginning of this one.  However it wasn't a bad twist and it was funny at the end.

What I Figured Out So Far:

This one is just a page, and is just a list of observations. However they are funny and worth the read.

Someone Called Me Sebastian:

An interesting take on a young man's outlook and his reactions to a pretty girl.  It was interesting and quirky.

The Hunted:

This one was funny! I enjoyed it, the only issue with this one is it felt like it could have had a more complete ending.  It just stopped.  It kinda made sense how it ended, but I think there could have been more.


This one is a bit confusing at first.  By the end though it makes sense. It was a very sad story, did not see the ending that it came with coming.

It's Her Birthday, After All!:

OMG! This one is dark but sooo funny!  I know people that I could see doing this and having the same excuses. The humor however is dark, not gory or scary, just dark.  

What You Should Know About My Toes:

Again this one is also darkly humorous.  I got a good chuckle out of it.

Following the Khyserians:

This one was one of those 'makes you think' kinda ones.  It was interesting and I liked the main characters point of view.  Again this is one of those that makes me want to read more about the world that the author created.

Davenport, Actor:

This one seems more like a clever tale you would read in a Hollywood memoir.  It was interesting and amusing though, if short. 

Lost Knock:

HAHAHAHA! I loved the twist at the end of this one. I wasn't sure what I expected but this wasn't it.

Dear Damian:

I wasn't sure about this one at first.  It is a series of letters that are arranged out of order so it seems to bounce back at forth.  But this was sooo touching and overall my favorite story in the whole book, even though it almost brought me to tears by the end of it. Definitely read this book if only for this story!

The Interview:

So tongue in cheek and sarcastic. Loved it!

Unspent Time:

Almost as good as Dear Damian.  Very touching and makes you wonder what might have been and what might be.

What Makes People Interesting:

Amusing.  Cute little tale about an 'interesting' person.  I like to see how the author takes the most mundane thing and turn it into a likable story.

This is Not What it Looks Like:

Another one pager that while short, is extremely funny!

Overall this collection was interesting, touching and even laugh out loud funny.  I definitely recommend picking it up. 

This post is part of the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2013.


  1. Hmmm . . . this book may be of interest to me. Thanks! I'll add it to my "to read" at Goodreads.

    1. Glad to bring a good book to your attention. Thanks for stopping by!