My DNF and Review of Gutshot by Amelia Gray

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I really tried with this book; I swore I was going to finish it even though I’d taken almost zero interest in the first 80 pages I read. Last night I skipped around to a few more stories because I felt guilty about the very idea that I was going to DNF it. You can’t just quit a book!

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But where’s my integrity? I’ve been talking about DNFing and reading other blog posts about DNFing books. At the end of the day I think we all agree there’s not enough time to spend it reading a book you don’t like when we all also agree that there’s too many books to read every single one you could ever want! So there I was reading a book that was like plugging my nose to avoid tasting what I’m eating. I just wanted to hurry up and get through it and call it read.

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If I had one hundred or so pages left to go in that book but I was barely interested 80 pages in, why? That’s one hundred pages I could be into the next book such as The Honours or The Voyage of the Basilisk. At least the latter I know I’m going to like a little bit because I’ve liked the first two in The Memoirs of Lady Trent series. And The Honours, well I know there’s a story there, it sounds interesting, and I like the author’s podcast. Do I really want to keep reading a collection of stories that has me saying

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This might as well be my review but no, I’m going to follow the format I’ve used on other books and give you my Goodreads review.

Info from Goodreads:

(My DNF & review of Gutshot follows)

A searing new collection from the inimitable Amelia Gray

A woman creeps through the ductwork of a quiet home. A medical procedure reveals an object of worship. A carnivorous reptile divides and cauterizes a town. Amelia Gray’s curio cabinet expands in Gutshot, where isolation and coupling are pushed to their dark and outrageous edges. These singular stories live and breathe on their own, pulsating with energy and humanness and a glorious sense of humor. Hers are stories that you will read and reread—raw gems that burrow into your brain, reminders of just how strange and beautiful our world is. These collected stories come to us like a vivisected body, the whole that is all the more elegant and breathtaking for exploring its most grotesque and intimate lightless viscera.

Paperback, 209 pagesPublished April 14th 2015 by Fsg Originals (first published March 3rd 2015)

My DNF & Review of Gutshot by Amelia Gray

1/5 stars (sorry, not sorry)

I don’t know if it’s fair to leave a rating for a book I didn’t finish but then again this is a testament to how I feel about this book and what I’d rate it, so I did.

The reason I DNFed this book is because it wasn’t interesting to me. I gave it a chance, for real, I read almost half the book. Let me tell you it is very difficult for me to just quit a book. Given how small it is I was determined to read it in its entirety but then I came across a story that was extra graphic and violent. It turned me off completely. I’m not skittish about violence but this felt like it was just violent to be violent. I’m sure there was a deeper meaning but it wasn’t worth spending anymore time on it, even though I read the story to the end to see if it was worth it after all. Nope. The stories I did read in addition to that one weren’t anymore interesting. So many of them were pointless. At the end of the story I’d sit there thinking, did I miss something or was that not a story at all? I got tired of wondering about the rest of the story between the lines, I couldn’t get into the story on the lines.

I get stories having a deeper meaning and subtle nuances but they have to be interesting to start. Sure there were pieces here and there that made me decide to keep reading. I thought this was going to be my cup of tea but turns out it’s not. And I’ve decided not to be afraid to DNF books that I’m just not connecting to at all. Why when there are so many I will enjoy at least half the time? 

I like weird stories but I want there to be a story, some meat on the bone and these stories were just bone IMHO, like broken bones. Reading the blurb again I feel a little cheated because that makes the book sound really interesting. It turned out to be like a movie trailer in which all the good parts are in the trailer.

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Have you read this book? Do you plan to? Let me know what you thought, feel free to share your thoughts even if you disagree. I love discussion!

CLICK HERE to check out my other reviews.

And visit my 2019 TBR to see what’s piquing my interest. You’ll find what I’ve read so far this year, what I’m currently reading, and what I plan to read. How do our TBRs compare?

Here’s What’s Up

Here’s what’s up this week! An introduction to a new series of posts I’m starting. I do like the idea of having a regular feature so to speak. So, here’s what’s up!

My goal with my blog this time around is to be a bit more focused. I will still bring you a variety of different things like occasional interesting bits of my fun with photography, I mean who doesn’t like to look at stuff?

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Here’s What’s Up Book Lovers

Officially, I’m going to focus more on reading and writing. While I’d love to share all that I’m writing with you, I can’t because I’ve got plans to submit and well most publications want to be first. And my novel is still very much a work in progress. Best to let it simmer in secret. That doesn’t mean we won’t be talking about writing but there will be heavy focus on reading. SO call me A Book Blogger (plus, okay don’t forget the plus)! What can I say, I like to read. And so can blame me, I’m a writer after all. Here’s What’s Up Book Lovers might feature updates to my 2019 TBR in detail, a new book blogger I found and want to feature, fun insights on writing, news from authors and books I like. LIKE Sue Burke’s book Semiosis has been nominated for the Kitschies Golden Tentacle Award. The Kitschies are British awards for “the year’s most progressive, intelligent and entertaining fiction that contain elements of the speculative or fantastic”. The Golden Tentacle she goes on to say is for debut authors. Stuff like that!

In addition to hearing about books and from other book bloggers – you know I got to network and support my fellow book lovers and writers – you’re also going to hear about my personal struggles. Now this is a fragile point of glass. What kind of blogger does this make me? Not a lifestyle…?

Here’s What’s Up With Me

Sometimes we divulge our personal lives with ease and I am a bit of a confessionalist, a bit or more. At other times we stand at the door with our eyes on the peep hole wondering whether or not to open and share. I’m both these things. I love to share and I hate to let people in beyond my control. However, what I have known for a long time is that we can help each other through our experiences. It’ll take some strength and heart for me to really open the doors for you but I’m going to get creative and I’m going to open doors and windows. Bring in the light baby!

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I struggle with anxiety and have for many many years; I struggle with whether or not to say for most of my life. In addition to my anxiety I have obsessive thoughts. While I don’t believe I’m OCD I have in the last year been struggling with some compulsions, all founded on obsessive thoughts. It is a strength I know to share my struggles and yet I feel vulnerable putting it out in the open. It’s not difficult for me to tell you I have anxiety issues, but to put it in words and publish it means that I can’t stop it. Whereas in real time there are days I want to talk to everyone about having anxiety and then there are days I just don’t want to talk to anyone period.

When you’re writing a blog it might seem obvious to share things that are personal. Sure it could be uncomfortable but you want to connect with people. However once I tell you, I’ve told you and I don’t know what you’ll think or feel. I don’t want to be painted with pity nor do I want you to think this is a cry for attention. I think the latter is the worst. I don’t want your attention on me for my anxiety, although I do want your attention on the issue of anxiety. That said I do want your attention on me so you get to know me as a person and a writer. I have self-published a collection of poetry (please contact me if you’d like to know more, links are forthcoming), and I am working on my first novel in addition to short stories. (Writerly facts about me thrown out at random.)

Here’s What Else Is Up

There’s a lot going on in my life, reading and writing are definitely some of those things but they aren’t the only. When I think it’s relevant or helpful I’ll share about these other things. And if I find a clever way (I will) to share about my life regularly, you can expect I will. For the time being (right now it’s 8 Mar 2019), expect a book blog. Simple. But, don’t be suprised if you find author interviews, interviews of all kinds, and more in the future because I am ambitious. Anxiety may kick my ass from time to time but at the end of the day, I’m in charge. I’m the one who wakes up and runs this ship so I’m the one you get to know. My anxiety, eh, it’s like the weather. We’ll talk about it in passing.

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In summary, here’s what’s up posts will consist of weekly updates and/or bits of news of what’s happening in my world, the world, and/or the book world. And you’ll see such headings as those above to give you an idea of the topic/category. The above was a summary of what you might expect but also like I said, an introduction to what’s up with me and this blog.

Please do bear with me as I get this all figured out. Some might be a bit convoluted or drug out but

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Give ‘Em Some Credit

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Part of blogging is being a part of the blogging community. You browse, you read, you like, you comment, at least you should. Whether you’re a book blogger or other sort, this is just part of what you do.

It’s come to my attention however that many of us bloggers and/or blog readers aren’t so good at this. Morgana’s post Book Bloggers Made Me Buy It got me thinking about this. Too often people visit blogs and read them but never “like” let alone comment. Maybe you’ve done this (certainly I have) without meaning to. I’m not always in a position to comment and sometimes it’s late and I fall asleep before remembering to like. Or maybe you’ve done it on purpose because you didn’t like what you read. Such instances as the latter don’t count for what I’m talking about here, I’m referring to – and fellow bloggers are also – the posts you DO like. And I’m not so much telling you what to do if you do or don’t like a post, consider this a “consider this” moment.

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Sometimes it’s intimidating to comment. Maybe you feel silly because you don’t know what to say. Whatever your reason, consider that that blogger will probably smile just to know you liked what they read. We want to interact with people. We want to know what you think. Even if you just hit “like” and then tell me you liked it (redundant you think), that means a lot. In addition to showing other readers our blog has other readers (:D) your comment might give others the courage or the little extra push to leave a comment themselves.

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While hop-skipping around the world of book bloggers on WordPress I found Morgana’s Book Box, as noted at the top of this post. In addition to that one (that really got me on this topic) I also took interest in a relevant and related post The Art of Surviving As A Book Blogger, I think you will also find it interesting. Props Morgana for bringing this topic to the forefront.

Now just what these bloggers think about my long comments – hopefully they don’t cringe 😉 – we’ll see. But I shared with them that I plan to recognize the people, blogs, podcasts, booktubers that I follow and have found books through, among other things. Since you might know I’ve been talking about this it only makes sense I’d get all excited talking about it with other folks. In fact I’ve already started. When I added another book – Angelfall – to my 2019 TBR, one I found in January but thanks to Morgana’s review I pushed it up, I linked back to her review saying as much as I am here. 😀 Scroll down my TBR to find the link to her review.

What do you think? Do you want to comment more now? Did this get you thinking about your comments or lack thereof? Are you a blogger and do you give ’em some credit? Will you now?

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