100 RPM – One Hundred Stories Inspired By Music by Caroline Smailes

Any book that begins with a playlist and an introduction by Nik Kershaw is obviously going on my reading list.

A quick Nik Kershaw refresher before I get into the nitty-gritty of 100 RPM – One Hundred Stories Inspired By Music, edited by Caroline Smailes –

And a little reminder of when I met him…

Okay, 100 RPM – One Hundred Stories Inspired By Music is a collection of 100 flash fiction stories, each inspired by songs on YouTube and each being 100 words or less. The fun is in having the song in mind (or in your ears) while you take in the 100 words – some of these were easy for me (Tiffany’s I Think We’re Alone Now and Rick Springfield’s Jessie’s Girl) but others were more obscure (or maybe I’m just very, very old?).

I don’t read a lot of flash fiction but I do expect the stories to stand on their own. Using songs as a reference point produced mixed results – the significance for some pairings was obvious, with the story almost retelling the lyrics or relying on the reader to know the lyrics for context. Those stories weren’t so good.

Other authors used the song purely as inspiration. Or a mood setter.

Or a starting point.

Or a conclusion.

Those were the stories that worked best. One hundred words can prove to be powerful or beautifully sentimental or terribly sad.

And I had to bookmark this one for the reference to Barry

This book was a quick read (and originally published to raise money for a UK charity) and I certainly don’t begrudge the hour I spent on it. A few of the authors I’ll seek more from but overall, the mediocre outweighed the stunners.

2.5/5 Uneven.

As part of the 20 Books of Summer reading challenge, I’m comparing the Belfast summer and Melburnian winter – the results for the day I finished this book (June 6): Belfast 10°-15°, Melbourne 7°-17°.







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