When I was younger, I used to be one of these kind of people who can read a book in a few times and be able to move onto the next book almost straight afterwards.
When I was younger, I would be able to sit in the same room as my father and younger brother (both of which still do that to different levels) and the three of us would be able to discuss them in almost a business like fashion.
Nowadays, my reading seems to have gone a lot slower and I think i have only read maybe three or four full novels last year (one by Laurel K Hamilton in her Anita Blake series which are defo a guilty pleasure but great fun and the only other one i can remember is by my favourite novelist, Paul Auster 'Sunset Park' which is great fun) so I have been flicking inbetween poetry and magazines more (which is another article in itself).
Something I have missed out somehow is the art of short stories and Nick Armbister is just one such Author whose work I have missed out on which I should have reviewed on ages back and ages back.
' A Nation in Flames' by the look of things was his third book first published in 2008 and was published when he was living in Essex prior him to moving back to Oldham (where I met him I think in 2009 or 2010) and his first book of short stories which followed on from two collections of poetry and is a prologue is a whole host of work since.
On the back of the book Nick descibes the pieces within the book like his poems but in more depth and certainly in my favourite pieces in the book like Kahila Akashaisfahan nuclear strike there is detail in this which is perhaps closer to prose than a short story with segments.
Speaking as a person who does goes to go the area where Nick now lives (Oldham), I also enjoyed ‘it doesn’t snow in November’ for it’s diary like movement in his life, although it does sort of stand out considering the book is advertised on the cover ‘with a gothic, military and a SF Favour’.
The book of course from the last paragraph does contain stories which have a gothic, military and a SF Favour and is perhaps best aimed at people who likes a mixture of stories like that or just some of them.
To quote another review I read while preparing myself for this review described his work as ‘Poetry that is not for pussies.. and he doesn’t give a shit about writing stuff that is commercial’.
Reading this book,that description is very true for his short fiction also as this is a book which even though I personally did go over the top in places for me (loss of the ice queen, lake hoklingen, Norway was the piece that totally over the top for me with it’s sacrifice scene), it is a book that is worth reading for people who like to have books that challenge them.
More details on Nick can be seen here..
The book can be bought here..