You’ve probably heard of Aesop’s fables. I know I personally have read them multiple times! And while there’s a lot to learn from foxes and crows and other talking animals, these authors have matured these lessons for an adult audience. There are a lot of entertaining stories in this collection, and some quite disturbing predictions of the future!
Modern Day Fables by Jason Petersen and Aarti Patel
Genre: Short Story
In the modern world, life lessons are not always as black and white as who wins a race between a tortoise and a hare. Modern Day Fables features eleven lessons for us adults, we who face challenges that present a palette of grays in which the morals are often more gritty, trampled on, hard fought, hard won, and not always glorious. In these eleven fables, travel the subterranean world of lessons not oft told because they are challenging to the status quo, and championing of the individual who stands alone amid the world around us. Decide what you think, who wins and who loses, who stands and who falls. Most importantly, just think.
Within these stories, as well as the rest in the book, you will see the ideals and expectations of society destroy some characters, as well as be exploited by others for power. But most importantly you will find those rare individuals who discover the courage inherent within them to stand apart from the status quo. They are not fearless heroes, but normal everyday people, conflicted yet confident, fearful yet bold. It is within these characters that lessons of the fables lie. Goodreads
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Short stories, I expect for a lot of people, are always a little hit and miss so I rarely find that I enjoy every story in the collection, and the stories that are “good” are different for each person. It makes it more difficult writing a review for future readers because, of course, you’ll like different things than I do. My review below will be more about the collection as a whole but just note that my feelings of the individual stories will likely not be the same as yours!
I was really looking forward to this because of my love for Aesop’s fables. The authors did a great job of giving the traditional “moral of the story” genre a more mature and modern twist. It did feel different than the fables because I felt like the structure here was more like that of a short story. I don’t know if the two are actually considered different by other people but I think they follow a different format. All that said, I preferred the short-story format. I think with the modernization it helped to have something that wasn’t so in your face with the lessons it’s teaching.
I really liked the technological-twist that a lot of the stories incorporated. There were many that seemed futuristic and while it sometimes fell into the “technology is making our lives worse” theme, it was mostly a reflection on how these things have impacted our lives so it didn’t feel like our way of life was completely being attacked!
I didn’t enjoy the first two stories so for me the collection didn’t start strong. With the first one, while the world the authors created was very inventive I felt a little confused by the sudden ending, and the second never really hit its stride. However, I felt much better about the following stories.
My personal faves were Eye Contact – about a group of wacky characters playing poker and trying to best each other (the funniest of the bunch!), Bully -a junior high teacher tries to build support for an anti-bullying campaign, and The IV Club. I don’t want to give too much away with this last one because it builds up suspense but it’s very creepy!
Overall, this was an interesting modern take on the classic fables from our childhood. The techy aspects were a great addition as it really updated the stories and gave a cool futuristic look at where our world may be in a few (or more) years!
About the Authors: Jason Petersen and Aarti Patel live together in the Pacific Northwest with their son and practice naturopathic medicine. They enjoy writing fiction on the side and like to explore themes involving individuality, society, and health.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
And once again, giveaway for Code Name: Papa is still ongoing! Enter here!