Yay, another book review!
Machine of Death: A collection of stories about people who know how they will die by Ryan North
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
First, I have to say that it wasn't what I expected, but it was better than what I expected. For whatever reason I expected more stories dealing with the actual death of people. Instead it was more about the reactions of people to the concept itself or their particular reading.
My two favorites in the book are very very different, yet at the core have the same sort of bias towards the machine. Torn Apart and Devoured by Lions and Miscarriage are those two. Neither of them actually contain the death and one is both completely accurate for the story it titles, yet isn't the way someone dies or is slated to die.
The stories are so varied and there are even several from the point of view of the "creators" of the machine. None of the stories in this collection take away anything from any of the others and they all seem to fit very well together. I went in only being familiar with the work of two of the editors and one of the writers in the collection as they all write webcomics that I love and read whenever there is a new one available. Those three webcomics (Dinosaur Comics, Wondermark, and xkcd) showcase the variety of perceptions, views, and entertainment type you can find on the internet and that really translates into the entire book.
I'm very impressed overall with not only the variety of stories, but the collection as a whole is very well put together.
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