Twin Shorts, unpolished and fascinatingly gross
Title: Twin Shorts
The low cost-of-entry in creating an e-books means a whole bunch of regular people who have the desire to write now have a way to reach a large audience. Anyone with a computer can post (er, publish) their stories in an e-book.
If you’re a reader who doesn’t mind reading a not-quite-completely polished book, you’ve got a ton of really cheap options out there. As you read you can’t have the same expectations as you do when reading a book published by Scholastic. No, reading these self-published e-books is like being a baseball talent scout. You sit through a lot of mediocre performances wondering, “Does this kid have what it takes to make it big time?”
There’s sort of a fascination in that type of reading. If you find a great book, you get the satisfaction of having been there from the beginning.
Most self-published e-books aren’t great, however. But many are worth the trouble of reading. At the very least, they allow you to contemplate the question, “What makes a great book?”
One self-published options is Twin Shorts by Sybil Nelson. This e-book is a set of short stories about a teenage girl with a set of troublesome twin brothers. Some of the stories are written as school assignments. Hey, maybe they WERE school assignments. The stories revolve around the annoying behavior of the twins, and how much they cramp the narrator’s style. The language and subject matter are a bit mature at times. For example, to get back at her brothers, while they’re sleeping, Priscilla, the main character, glues all over them Play-Doh shaped in the form of a bunch of tiny breasts. This could be interpreted as funny or twisted or just lame. As the reader, you get to decide.
The book does have a story arc. Toward the end, Priscilla the narrator sort of teams up with her brothers in a home-based business. The twins would eat gross stuff—worms and crickets and the like—and the neighbors would pay them to watch. Reading Twin Shorts, I sort of felt like one of those neighborhood kids. Kinda grossed out, but fascinated at the same time.