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Gloomy Seahorse Press (2014)
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RHYSOP’S FABLES
Unhelpful and irresponsible fables for the modern age

THIS REAL-TIME REVIEW (CONTINUED FROM HERE) WILL TAKE PLACE IN THE COMMENT STREAM BELOW AS AND WHEN I READ EACH FABLE:-

33 responses to “*

  1. THE HOT GEYSEROO
    “¶ Make up your own moral for this fable.”
    Literature is better when ‘deliberately vague’ than when clearly described.

  2. PLAYGROUND FIGHT
    Here anthropomorphism of some very very small things.
    Oops, I forgot I wasn’t going to use that anthro word in this review…

  3. THE LOST FABLE
    “When the earwig asked him what the matter was, the fable said, ‘Can you take me out of this set of facile fables and put me into Aesop’s collection instead?'”
    This is not a facile fable, or indeed a feeble one, and it does shed some light on the nature of Aesop and why a fable, when anthropomorphised, is male: i.e. chafing rags.
    (Damn, there’s that anthro word again!)

  4. CLOUDCUCKOOLAND
    Don’t give room in your brain for Rhys Hughes to grow there.

  5. VERNE YOUR KEEP
    A ludicrous pickle jar of pre-Whovian Jules-Verneisms that simply makes me want to shimmy right back to the core of things.

  6. THE SCARED GHOST
    To kill a ghost: Red Rum it.

  7. ABUNDANCE OF ROOTS
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    Nuff said?

  8. SEEKER AFTER WISDOM
    Possibly the truest fable of them all. That every one of us is a hypocrite.

  9. THE EMERGENCY AARDVARK
    More apricot jam on the nose – and egg on the face for the fabulist after this one, I feel!

  10. THE MARTIAN CORACLES
    A fable about arcane one-person boats called coracles from an arcane principality called Wales leads to a wordplay on an old, equally arcane, commercial for a chocolate bar. Let’s hope most readers are arcane, too.

  11. MIGHT BE TRIPLE
    aka Umberto’s Umbrage?
    The implicatory effects of fiction … No wonder Rhys often offers his readers to appear in his work by name, so that he can get away with murder. Even with racism, which is worse. Or, at the basest level of all, ironic double coding and beyond.

  12. BANANA DRAMA
    Never use a pun that doesn’t work. You’ll be blamed even if the pun’s not working was your intention.

  13. GHOST IN THE MACHINE
    Some of this book’s more feeble fables, like this one, seem to have a laboured build up of explanation or scene-setting so as to lead eventually to the wordplay revelation or crystallisation of the title or the moral.

  14. THE EARWIG’S WISH
    Probably the strangest series of non-sequiturs in the history of fabulism. I enjoyed it in aftertaste more than I expected when reading it.

  15. THE MOTHERLODE
    I’m afraid I’m as confused as this fable’s moral.

  16. SETTING OFF AGAIN
    I didn’t understand this, but when the fox and carrot appeared, I made an earwig’s wish…

  17. THE CONDENSATION REPUBLIC
    I had an effete dose of the vapours over this next fey fable.

  18. FEELING BLUE
    “…and blues music is made of sadness, in the same way that skeletons are made of bones.”
    If sadness and happiness are upside down to each other, which one is downside up?

  19. THE LUCKY BLACK CAT
    A superstitious time travel story that interestingly made me wonder when Modern History starts or ends.

  20. DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY
    Rhys spends a lot of his time illustratively reconciling phrases and sayings by means of fables with ‘unhelpful’ morals. This is no exception.

  21. THE WALNUT WHIP
    Don’t marry a wife who takes your requests literally.

  22. IN A FLAP
    The flying machine that needs to flap its wings and the glider that doesn’t.
    A mating dance to imagine.

  23. SKELETON OF CONTENTION
    “It is quite draughty being a skeleton,…”
    A fable with a one word moral.

  24. I am now taking what I consider to be a well-earned summer break from real-time reviewing or Dreamcatching books until September.

  25. TURNING THE OTHER CHEEK
    Many of these fables have the cheek of the devil… with spinning morals, some flat, some pointed, some downright daft.

  26. The Astral Doggers
    Science as voyeurism. Hilarious for hilarious sake. A good implied moral, as well as the real one to which we all scrape and Bowie.

  27. The Weather Station
    A crap moral following a crap fable. I’m not being funny.

  28. An Epic Realisation
    I feel that these Rhys fables are not suiting me in my present frame of mind, while the Rhys flash fictions are continuing to inspire me here.
    For that reason, I am now abandoning the Fables, at least for a while. Sorry.

  29. The Training Coach
    Choo choo!
    I’m back! 🙂

  30. I think my mistake earlier in this long-running review was to talk about each fable one by one. I shall now experiment with dealing with batches of fables, and I hope I shall be persuaded that the Rhysop Fables are generally as good as the rest of this author’s canon…

    Goose Writing Advice, The Glove, Educated Shapes, Green Soup
    “Will you come dancing with me tonight?”
    Wordplay of pitching a novel, gloving the sky, squaring the circle of education and the most horrible conceit of venereal soup! Moral: A batch of fables is not as foul as one of its ingredients. Or: let a batch of discrete fables percolate together before tasting them as a gestalt.

  31. Undermining Authority, The Rabbit in the Bakery, The Busty Whore, The Highly Qualified Nose, All Anyone Can Ask, The Cossack, A Smashing Excuse, Chapped Lips
    On the day there is a Ukraine ceasefire declared (believe it or not!) we have a playful wordplay on Ukraine as well as a real laugh-out-loud busty whore joke, mixed with daftnesses in other shorter fables in this batch that are not even worthy of being daft, but they benefit from the company they keep like an excellent Bunny joke and an aardvark again with apricot on its nose!

  32. The Spice Rack, The Dragonfly, Tonguewaggle Chipchop, Midnight in the Morning, The One Hundred and Tenth Fable
    Fifty shades of grey, thirty tributes to Calvino, one hundred and ten trombonhomies… This batch ends with a fine coincidence worthy of my real-time reviews. Just a few minutes ago while reviewing ‘Doom it Heavenwards’, I conceived of a story being reviewed by a story with exactly the same words… and here, in a comparable context, we have: “Worried in case anyone around you thinks you are mad for talking to yourself?” By the way, if I ever wanted to write a cruel parody of a Rhys Hughes work, I would have written ‘The Spice Rack’. But Rhys does it so much better!

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