Age range 11+
A collector of computer games, a knitting needle ninja, a violin that comes to life, a cat with many names, a love that cannot be bought, a prince who finds a friend, an alien invasion ... Welcome to a world of `beauty rich and rare', a world of natural (and unnatural) gifts on every page - from humour to horror, thriller to fantasy - encompassing the past, the present and the future. Our `young and free' creators include: Michael Gerard Bauer, Gary Crew, Justin D'Ath, Scot Gardner, Kerry Greenwood, Libby Hathorn, Leigh Hobbs, Sofie Laguna, Kirsty Murray, James Roy, Shaun Tan and Gabrielle Wang.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9781925272116
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Book Review: Rich & Rare by Paul Collins - Reviewed by TimH (24 May 2016)
Rich & Rare (Anthology) Paul Collins (ed) Publisher: Ford Street Publishing Format: Paperback Demographic: Upper primary and above RRP: $24.95 ISBN: 9781925272116 Reviewer: Tim Harris
Quality short story anthologies can be a rare delicacy these days. It is well then that Ford St has published Rich & Rare: A Collection of Australian Stories, Poetry and Artwork, a delightful smorgasbord of Aussie talent that's sure to have something for any reader to enjoy. Whatever your poison, be it side-bursting comedy, edge-of-your-seat action, drama that hits you right in the guts, delectable mysteries or sweet slice-of-life style pieces, this anthology has it. While many of the themes are particularly relevant for younger readers, the vast majority of these stories have enough depth and subtlety to satisfy palates both old and young. This combination of relevance to younger readers along with plenty of complexity to pick apart makes these stories as appropriate for classroom use as they are for general enjoyment.
The collection includes some very powerful pieces, such as 'The Bravest Person I Know' by Archimede Fusillo which is at once both heart-breaking and heart-warming. Also moving is 'I Can't Sleep' by Tracey Hawkins, which paints a vivid portrait of a family tearing itself apart.
After heavy pieces such as these, the comedic works come as welcome relief. The best of these include Leigh Hobbs' 'A Writer's Morning', which is greatly enhanced by his illustrations and far too relatable for this recently reformed student, and Michael Pryor's 'Magic for Sale', an extremely relatable fantasy parody which normalises the fantastic and suggests that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
There's some great non-parodic fantasy too, such as Paul Collins' 'The Black Sorrows' which makes interesting use of a deadline and other thriller elements to force the protagonist out of her comfort zone and raise the stakes of the adventure. Paul O'Sullivan contributes an illustration for most of the pieces, and his artwork for this story in particular really helps to convey the nature of the angel Wind. In 'The Green Boy', Kirsty Murray presents a whimsical, Gaimanesque story in which she explores the idea that there could be, or perhaps should be, more to this world than we see and know in a heartwarmingly bizarre tale about friendship.
Doug Macleod mixes in a strong dose of silliness with the creepier elements of his ghost story 'The Ghost in the Stereoscope'. His characterisation is great, and the story does a good job of exploring its preoccupation with the past, memories, secrets and the relations these things hold with the present. Sean McMullen's 'The Time Machine' is another piece in which the past, memories and legacies are key concerns. With its themes of illusion and the nature of reality along with the mystical weight of the dreams it relates, there's a lot for VCE English students studying the 'Whose Reality?' context to sink their teeth into.
The anthology also contains some interesting poetry. It ends very appropriately with Sherryl Clark's poem 'Story World', which really captures the allure of stories and the adventures they take us on to far away places.
For an overview of some of Australia's most promising talent and a delectable array of short fiction, Rich & Rare really hits the spot. With something for everyone, I would recommend this anthology for anyone who appreciates a good tale and reads for the joy of it.
Book Review: Rich & Rare by Paul Collins - Reviewed by Featherz (11 Dec 2015)
Rich and Rare is an anthology edited by Paul Collins which lives up to its title. It is a rich collection from an extraordinary array of Australian authors and illustrators, who offer up rare genius in the telling. There is something for every type of reader: Contemporary, Adventure, Crime, Romance, Historical, Graphical and many more genres are represented. Every piece is also complemented by stunning artwork.
George Ivanoff gives a modern spin to the Invasion of the Body Snatchers with his eerie science fiction story “Music of the Pod-people”. Gary Crew offers a tale of haunting with a twist in the ghost story “Dr Strangelove Regrets”, while Adam Wallace’s hilarious story of revenge in “Masters of Chefery – A Tournament of Taste” will leave both fans and detractors of cooking shows bemused and satisfied.
Jelindel is hoodwinked by a witch-girl in a rare moment of vulnerability in Paul Collins’ fantasy story “The Black Sorrows”. She is left fighting for her life in the darkest of places. Michael Hyde’s “Vinegar Straps” exposes the brutality that ran rife in the education system during the days of corporal punishment, and the sheer terror that was instilled into the students facing such unjust and sickening torture.
Lucy Sussex’s “Angelito”, captures the horror of being followed home by a child corpse during the Mexican Day of the Dead festival- while Meredith Costain’s “what i am /, what i am not”, Michael Wagner’s “The Eversad Boy” and Sherryl Clark’s “Story World” offer quite contrasting styles and messages in their poetic pieces. It is the short but poignant piece written and illustrated by Marc McBride that truly captures the rich and rare quality of this collection, titled “Doodling”, it simply tells of a grandmother’s wise words passed on to her grandchild in times of need.
The strange and intriguing cover by Shaun Tan captivates the eye and draws you in, it piques the curiosity, encouraging you to take a peek inside. With over 45 well known Australian contributors including Hazel Edwards, Kirsty Murray, Scot Gardner, Phillip Gwynne, Libby Hathorn, Justin D'Ath, Sofie Laguna, Gabrielle Wang and many more, this book is a credit to the editor Paul Collins. Containing an insightful foreword by Sophie Masson, this book belongs in every household, school and library collection.
Paul Collins has written many books for younger readers. He is best known for his fantasy and science fiction titles: The Jelindel Chronicles and The Quentaris Chronicles - co-edited with Michael Pryor. Among the 150 books he has written, he also edited a dozen anthologies including Trust Me! and Trust Me Too. He edited Dream Weavers, Australia's first fantasy anthology, and The MUP Encyclopaedia of Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy. Paul has been short-listed for many awards and has been awarded The A Bertram Chandler Award, the Inaugural Peter McNamara, Aurealis and William Atheling awards. Paul is also the publisher at Ford Street Publishing, a children's specialist publishing everything from picture books to young adult literature. www.paulcollins.com.au
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