Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Review of Tearing At Thoughts by Andy Harrod

By Anne Stormont

Tearing At Thoughts is made up of pieces of short fiction, some of the pieces are very short and reminiscent of haiku, many of them are poetic. The tone is so intimate that, at times, the reader can feel like a voyeur, like they should look away but can’t.

The writing is a stream of responses to consciousness. Sometimes the thoughts are fleeting, and at other times they are  prolonged and complex. They are all responded to by the writer. Sometimes the author’s tearing is minimal and the thoughts are simply stated, nudged, worried at. At other times the thoughts are more deeply examined, set in context and ripped apart. It operates on two levels – the physical which varies from a gentle caress to a visceral assault – and the psychological which varies from nudge to probe
The moods of the pieces vary. The fonts, shapes, layouts and presentation vary too. Some are beautiful, comforting and benign. Others are beautiful, disturbing and terrifying.

This is a book that requires to be engaged with and revisited. Reading it is akin to reading poetry, or looking at a painting or listening to a piece of music. You need to read, reflect and then return. Revisiting and further pondering will be rewarded as more and more of what Harrod is saying becomes more and more apparent.
My favourite pieces from the book are Love Letters to the Mind (both parts), which  I liked for its poignancy and truth and Mist and Trees which I enjoyed as a story and for its evocation of the work of psychologist R.D. Laing.

This book is a fine example of art for art’s sake. It’s not commercially produced, there’s no P.R., it’s not dumbed-down or sexed-up. It’s not available in bookshops – yet – but it is available online. It has no blurb or obvious niche.

The book is beautiful in its brevity and it is packed full of very human truth. It’s a perfect summer read.

Anne Stormont is a writer and teacher. She can be a subversive old bat but maintains a kind heart. As well as writing for this fine organ, she writes fiction for adults - mainly of the menopausal and post-menopausal female persuasion - and for children. She blogs at http://annestormont.wordpress.com  - where you can find out lots more about her.   

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Anne for the review. It is excellent when a reader takes time to savour your work and gets it. For readers I am happy to answer any questions you have about tearing at thoughts in the comments section. Cheers Andy