The Ball Washer by Lance Manion. An Anthology Review

The Ball Washer by Lance Manion. An Anthology Review

The Ball Washer by Lance Manion- an Anthology Review. A Review of Stories, Rants and Diatribes by Lance Manion.

The Ball Washer by Lance Manion. An Anthology Review

The Ball Washer by Lance Manion.

Let me start right out by stating the first story you’ll come across in this anthology is the title story of the compilation. The Ball Washer is the first story. While that’s no big deal and likely a good idea (when one is focusing on a particular piece of work in such an omnibus), I can’t help but to point out that the story itself, The Ball Washer, is my least liked in the entire collection. I’m not saying it’s bad; I am simply saying this: Out of the numerous shorts in here, this is the one story I found I liked the least.

With that being said, don’t dare stop there, fellow readers, as I think you’ll find this anthology quite enjoyable and worth a look-see. In fact, while I simply stumbled upon this work only through dumb luck (I was grabbing free stuff at random). I am so glad I did.

Lance Manion, the author, has quite the acerbic wit and certainly possesses a grand imagination. Not only that, but he is very good at placing a large amount of written creation into a very small word count, or, these stories are short and fun. Really short. A lot of fun. Plus, he has a knack for the play on words.

Not all of these stories are purely fiction, but some are humorous diatribes on subjects Lance finds particularly noticeable. You know, the those things that irritate everyone sooner or later. But mostly, these are clever stories (well, I don’t know how to classify come with me, so I will allow the reader the task) and funny observations. Very funny at times. Lance, you and I had similar misunderstandings in our youth, as I once thought if they were immersed and withdrawn, they’d drain like the heavy rubber bladder from a 1963 Corning 72 gallon water heater split with an ice scraper. You managed to reintroduce what was once a series of disturbing dreams.

And I should point out that Lance Manion possesses a rare talent in writing; he can bring you closely into the scene, whether you like it or not. Check out this potentially likely but fictional quote from one of today’s finest celebrity authors, Chuck Palahniuk:

“Yeah, should I have not become a successful writer and tour de force in the realm of today’s literary scene, and I had eaten more mushrooms than I did, I likely would have written works very similar to many of these stories written by this Lance, uh, Lance Masterson guy.”

“That’s Manion, Chuck. Lance Manion.”

“Yeah, that guy. Like I said, stories like Ted, my own personal waterloo, and confessions (I suppose that’s what it is) like come with me might have been written by me. You know, it could have happened. Yeah, I could say anything within a context such as this, but I can say I don’t know anyone who died of hemorrhoids. Oh, and thanks for the writing lessons via the kitchenware, and how much of a nerd do you have to be to succeed with parentheses humor?”

Now, see? This potentially likely quote is from Chuck Palahniuk, and he is among the most successful and talked about writers of this century. If he might say something like that, who knows what James Patterson might say…

“For the last time, pal, I am not talking to you, and I am not, NOT, reading anything for you. Now get lost before I shove that camera where the sun doesn’t shine.”

Well, I like Chuck more, anyway. For you readers, the best part of this is that this collection, The Ball Washer, is absolutely free. It is, that’s right, a free download. (In come with me, the payload is free, but you’ll have to work for it). It seems Lance created this and placed it out there at no cost in order to sucker dupes like me into reading it and then, with higher hopes than I have regarding a possible date with Ginnifer Goodwin, you might be enamored enough to buy his other works.

But be warned, as he’s going to berate you right away for grabbing at this low-hanging fruit.

Yes, it is that, but I wouldn’t write this review about the collection if I didn’t like it. Just so you know, I don’t write reviews if I am displeased with the work. I just coax teens into egging the offender’s car. The thing is, I enjoy going against the grain and immersing my reading time into work I find on sites such as Smashwords and the like. I would read more selections from PublishAmerica if they weren’t charging ridiculous amounts for unknown work.

The Ball Washer is yet one more quality work I have found out there that everyone catering to the Lamestream would consider beneath their attention. There’s a point to make here, which is that so many people who claim to enjoy the act of reading will incessantly avoid works published at locations such as Smashwords simply because they assume the work must, must, must be of low quality. But I say that just isn’t true, and it isn’t just because I have work there, as well. I mean, you’ve read this review this far, and I have placed work on Smashwords and at PublishAmerica. How could the work at those locations be of poor quality when this review is this exceptional?

I state this because once one traverses along the choices of those Indie sites and enjoys a few, it quickly becomes obvious these people really, really made a great effort. Now yes, there will be some choices poorly edited (Lance did well, just so you know. Not perfect, but who does) and some that are horribly self-indulgent. But among the choices one can find well written works that just will not be found anywhere else, and that makes them treasures. So put away the brochures and maps handed to you by the publishers and wander into the weeds. Don’t follow the beaten path; explore the trail marked only by the occasional broken branch, paw print, and droplets of blood. Once you get through the thickets not intended for the faint of heart, the treasures will be incredible. Hey, if the mainstream had their way, no river would have ever been crossed.

To obtain this download, simply go to Smashwords and search away for Lance Manion, The Ball Washer, or some combination thereof. Or just go to his website. Because this is a free read, the only thing invested and possibly lost is your time, but I am here to inform you this is time well spent. Yes, if you like to read, like to laugh, and like to cringe on occasion, you, like me, will quickly become a fan of Lance Manion.

Roddy J Dryer, Yahoo! Contributor Network

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Lance Manion has been called demented, hilarious, quirky and well outside the mainstream. He has released 5 collections of short stories, contributes to numerous online flash fiction sites and blogs daily on his website Currently, his fifth book named "The Trembling Fist" is out and promises to be his fifthest yet. I'm sure there are a lot of redeeming features about Lance that we could mention but none of them are coming to mind just now. If we think of any we'll be sure to get back to you.

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