This review of my short story collection Transported, by reviewer Mandy Evans, appeared in the Marlborough Express on 19 August 2008.
Transported by Breadth of Imagination
Expect to be transported by this collection of short stories and you won’t be disappointed.
From a neighbourhood debate about aliens moving in next door, a changing climate resulting in kiwifruit growing in Otago, an eye transplant that allows a man to better see the stars, and a country so crowded there’s standing room only, Tim Jones’s imagination and his pen range freely.
Jones has previously published two volumes of poetry, and one earlier collection of short stories, however, this is the first work of his I’ve read.
I found his writing polished and easy-to-read. His protagonists are all distinctive characters and the writing tone for each story reflects this. I particularly like that Jones has taken such diverse situations that at times seem like stray thoughts that would flit through most people’s minds and disappear, and turned them into thoughtful stories.
While not every story in the book was to my taste this just serves to prove the breadth of Jones’s imagination. I loved The New Neighbours which featured aliens living among humans. After The War, which tells the tale of one of Tolkien’s Orcs, also appealed to me.
One of the essential ingredients in a short story is its power to surprise; to produce the unexpected. I derive a great deal of satisfaction from reading a collection that does so with a flourish. Most of the stories in this collection finished with a satisfying element of doubt, ensuring the stories linger in the mind.