Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Trust Me Too


Trust Me TooTrust Me Too edited by Paul Collins (Ford Street Publishing)
PB RRP $24.95
ISBN 978-1921665585
Reviewed by Francine Sculli

Trust Me Too is a wildly diverse collection of short stories and poems, edited by Paul Collins, that is jam packed with intoxicating tales written by an all-star line up of Australian writers. In her introduction, Judith Ridge sums the collection up perfectly: “If reading is something you do to find your way into the lives of other people, whatever kind of world they live in, you will find something to enjoy and ponder on within.”

And there is definitely no shortage of worlds and lives to explore in this collection; nor a shortage of themes, motifs and genres that will perfectly engage the middle-readers audience, but the one thing that truly binds this anthology is the thrilling sense of adventure and strong themes. From the very first story, Kerry Greenwood’s ‘The Calabar Crystal’, readers are thrown right into the very heart of a historical otherworldliness through the daring adventures and discoveries of best friends, Red and Liam, who unearth Liam’s eccentric great-aunt’s secrets from Zimbabwe.

There is no turning back from the benchmark of Greenwood, and the ripping pace continues as readers travel from world to world meeting strong characters of both old and young who encounter everything from a lone child raised by dingoes, scavenger hunts with prized ashes, sci-fi detective deaths inspired by plagues of rats, failed rock star fathers, cartoon farmers plagued by Zombies and so very much more. The big draw card of the Obernewtyn novelette ‘The Journey’ by Isobelle Carmody, is well worth its weight in gold. Carmody outdoes herself, once again, with a brilliant sci-fi story of Hannah, her telepathic powers and groundbreaking research. Hannah, drawn to the corporate city in search of people like her and a research internship that could change her life, finds herself attacked by a nunazi ganger and rescued by Jake Obernewtyn who shares his wisdom and creates a new path for Hannah.

The Obernewtyn novelette, however, does not outweigh the brilliance of this anthology as a whole. Each and every story, poem and illustration is well crafted and stands impressively on its own. This collection really does present the best of the best and there is so much to chew on that it is almost impossible to even select a stand-out. 

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