As someone who has shunned short stories in the past, I’m fast becoming a fan so I’m delighted to be part of the launch celebrations for Champagne & Lemonade by John A.D. Hickling which was published by Clink Street Publishing on June 5th 2016 in paperback and e-book. Champagne & Lemonade has a variety of pieces and is available for purchase here and to order from all good bookshops.
Today I’m reviewing the poetry Depressing/Depressed Again. You’ll find my review from yesterday of the one of the stories, Vampire of 133A Greenstone Street here.
Champagne & Lemonade
Champagne & Lemonade is a delightful collection of eclectic short stories, taking readers on a journey to different times and places, meeting a sparkling cast of well-drawn characters.
Nibble the fish is desperate to escape his boring old pond.
A new breed of super hero has been born and his name is Bob Cheesecake.
Dumpton Hospital’s staff have a somewhat unconventional approach to looking after their patients.
Robert Hood is on a mission to save modern England.
And just who is the vampire terrorising the neighbourhood from his home at 113A Greenstone Street?
From the quixotic to the poignant, John A. D. Hickling’s wild and whimsical tales fizz with fun and are sure to entertain almost everyone!
Another day of feeling like the world is closing in on you.
Depression has got a hold of me today and how many more days to come?
My Review of Depressing/Depressed Again
When I was asked to review just this Section 14 of a mere four pages of seemingly random lines I wasn’t sure I’d have a lot to say. However, I found Depressing/Depressed Again very moving and affecting.
This is a complete study in what it’s like to be depressed, from the physical effects on the body to the feeling of worthlessness in the mind. The reader is made aware of how the environment can impact on those suffering depression as can the behaviours and attitude of loved ones.
I found some of the different fonts used in this section of Champagne a& Lemonade quite difficult to read at times and I had to struggle to make out a couple of lines. I thought this was inspired as it reflects the difficulties depressed individuals have in existing in their day to day lives. There are allusions to suicide in the repetition of guns and rivers and there’s a very strong sense that the persona behind the lines would love a restorative faith that they can’t find or that they have lost when they appear to feel guilty because they ‘don’t pray’.
There’s also a hint that the ‘I’ of the section could be pushed as far as murder, wishing for ‘two guns’ and wanting to chop up those making unbearable noise. I even wondered at the egocentrism of that first person voice – so many lines begin with ‘I’, perhaps belying the professed lack of self -esteem. I thought the writing was really thought provoking and the more I have returned to the lines the more I’ve found.
What I liked most, however, was that I found the lines at the end of both these sections Depressing/Depressed Again ultimately uplifting and reminiscent of Scarlet O’Hara at the very end of Gone With The Wind. There is a positivity that we would all do well to adhere to.
About John Hickling
Proud father and grandfather, and jack of all trades John A.D. Hickling currently lives with his family in Nottingham. A lover of music, especially 60’s rock, John has previously recorded two independent albums, appeared in comedy band Space Cadets on Britain’s Got Talent and is an active member of Masque Productions amateur theatre group. His debut book, Champagne & Lemonade. For more information please visit John’s website or find him on Facebook. You can follow John on Twitter.
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