Cook Read Digest is a book I have no choice but to review in pieces, before giving my opinion on it as a whole. A trio of super short stories, I feel as though Cook Read Digest runs the gamut from really great to just okay.
Starting strong out of the gate, the first story, Fruitless, is about the dangers of taking life a little too literally. I got a couple of good chuckles at the characters and the premise of this one, and in the end it turnout to be the real highlight of the collection. I would give it a solid five stars, from beginning to end.
State of Mind was a somewhat uncomfortable ride. Though I enjoy the premise of the story, and the message behind it, I found it a little too literal, in a way. It was strange- and strange is good- but I just couldn’t settle into the feeling of it. I would give it three stars. The writing was strong, the story was there, but something felt off other than the blatant naming of the protagonist and his former lover.
The final story, Overthrown, was also uncomfortable at first. I struggled through the first couple pages. While the content was not unsettling, some of the ways it was described were- and that could have been the purpose- but I found myself unable to sink into the story. Nearer to the end, though, and on a second reading, I found myself growing a little more comfortable with it. I would give this final portion of the trio four stars.
It may be that the entire book is something that bears revisiting many times to truly become comfortable with it, and I can promise that I will be reading it again. If you like strange and thought-provoking stories, this might just be the mini-collection for you, but if you are looking for a quick and easy read, you might find yourself dissatisfied.
Four stars, in the end, for William Box’s mixed bag, Cook Read Digest.
You can purchase Cook Read Digest on Amazon for only 99 cents, which I think is a fair deal even if you just have as much fun reading Fruitless as I did.