Shorts & Shit


Loved it! 😍

This quirky collection provides a refreshing approach to perspective in storytelling. O’Donnell's writing is witty, clever, and calculated.

This quirky collection provides a refreshing new approach to perspective in storytelling. O’Donnell’s writing is witty, clever, and calculated in Shorts & Shit. This group of short stories and poems paired creative narrative progressions with short bursts of free verse. I found the structure of the anthology made O’Donnell’s themes easy to engage, and provided a fun experience for readers throughout the book. 

O’Donnell’s writing reminds me of a Plato’s Allegory of the Cave approach. Readers are brought into a narrative through one character perspective, and after this character learns new information, the author allows readers to see how the aftermath changes that character. As readers, we’re learning things with the characters, and this concept made for very engaging reads. By the end of each short story, the challenge for readers to ponder what to do with what they’ve learned. I found myself immediately caught up in each short story, and this largely speaks to O’Donnell’s clever use of dialogue and entry point selection to each tale. These short stories broach dark, unfiltered topics. Some embracing themes of the unknown, and how the human pursuit of knowledge can be their own undoing. 

This collection is unafraid to tap into the dark facets of the human mind, and the author’s fascination with the fragility of the human psyche is present within these narratives. From a figurative language standpoint, readers can find some really well-established extended metaphors and foreshadowing within this text. One can find many parallel themes within short stories as well, which helps further connect the anthology. I appreciated the witty twists at the end of each tale, and kept wishing there was more to read for each segment. 

The organizational choice for this book was well thought out, too. Alternating between the two art forms invited ways to break up the narrative subject matter for readers. After reading a good, but dark short story, O’Donnell provides you with a more simply structured text and lighthearted material in his poetry. While the subject matter for each poem was profound and interesting, they took a different tone than the short stories. In my experience reading, I relied on the poetry in this collection to take a pause, reset with a lighthearted theme and message, before diving back into the next short story. O’Donnell’s play on perspectives, dialogue, and language remains within the poetry, too. 

Overall, Shorts & Shit was a refreshing and innovative read! I found myself thoroughly enjoying the challenges of approaching narratives from unique perspectives, as well as wrestling with the profound themes O’Donnell worked into each story. I look forward to reading more work from this author in the future!

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Hi! I'm Kayla, one of the co-founders of Queens of Coffee and Canon. I am a High School English teacher working in Chicago Illinois, and I'm a lover of all things books! I read anything and everything I can get my hands on, but personally enjoy Young Adult Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Fantasy!

Inventing Ghosts

About the author

I think about death a lot, but I'm in love. So that's nice. view profile

Published on August 01, 2020

40000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Anthologies

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