Some authors are incredibly skilled at the perfection of dialogue. Cadence and tone, their talent at emulating realism of fictitious conversation are revelatory. Other authors excel in their depiction of imagery and setting, almost lulling the reader into a hypnotic state where an artificial world is not so unlike our real own. In ‘fly and other stories,’ Anneliese Poelsma bridges the gap between the two above literary ingredients and churns out a haunting collection of works left me with a veritable impression of intensity.
Poelsma, an artist from Melbourne, Australia with a propensity for effective visualization of scenes and imagery, has created a collection of tales that handily address the more taboo thematic constructs of literature today. Elements of the horror, psychological thriller, and untrustworthy narrator genres all are at play in the six stories that comprise ‘fly.’ The title of the work is self-explanatory: each of the stories therein refuse to be pigeonholed into any particular genre’s fisticuffs. Instead, in stories like “I Live In The Bathroom” and the deeply creepy “Jennifer,” Poelsma eschews any limitations that a type of story-telling may have and creates her own effective spin on what defines a good read.
Each of the characters depicted in ‘fly’ are flawed in their own way, though they may not entirely be forthcoming over even aware of it. What makes these characters so interesting is that they are ribald without being unlikable. Is this because the reader can identify with certain character traits? Is it because the stories themselves sound like something you would hear about at a dinner party? Poelsma leaves it up to the reader to decide.
Being an avid reader and reviewer means suspending my own state of belief to fully immerse myself in whatever creative work that has come my way. This allows me to not only appreciate the work of art that has been created, but also the artistry illustrated by the creator. Reading ‘fly and other stories’ reminded me of the many different types of artists that exist. Poelsma is not only unique and brave in her storytelling style and obvious talents, but she does something that not many authors do. She weaves the reader so intricately with the stories that by the time the last word is read, an explosion of moralistic questions infiltrate the readers mind. I look forward to more by this firecracker of a writer in whatever medium she decides to present her artistry in.
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