I've been trying out some of the new Kindle singles that Amazon are pushing, which include some of the big names in fiction. But, although the quality is high, I'm inclined to think you can get better bargains for your money on the indie scene. These are just two of the fiction singles I've read in the last few weeks.
A Penguin Special
Helen Dunmore’s fiction is always excellent - Amina's Blanket is one of my favourite stories of all time. In terms of quality this story is no exception - but I felt it was a little too short to be a Kindle Single. On the Indie market, stories as short as this are usually sold in threes, as triplets. The story itself is slender - a black child-slave in 18th century Britain makes friends with the young Mozart. He is humiliated by his employer and his life thereafter follows a different path. It is beautifully written, but slight - only 12 Kindle pages at normal font size for a whopping £1.99p. Come on Penguin! We want a bit more for our money than this. One of the disadvantages of buying an e-book is that you can't see how thick it is before you hand over the credit card.
Published by Long Barn Books
This is a more reasonable length - about 20 Kindle pages - and a more reasonable price, at 99p. Susan Hill has constructed a perfect evocation of an Irish Catholic childhood and the pressures on a young man to enter the priesthood. It isn’t a cheerful story, and left me rather sad - but it is undoubtedly true to real life. In these days when we are all questioning the necessity of celibacy for priests, and the results of insisting on their sacrifice of any personal sexual life, the story has a very contemporary theme. But I still think that we need a little more length for a satisfying read.