Book Reviews,  Humor,  New Adult,  Realist Fiction,  Writing

Book Review: The Workshop: Week Two

The Workshop: Week TwoThe Workshop: Week Two by Matt Mills
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you haven’t read The Workshop: Week One, this review won’t make much sense. Why don’t you go read that, then enjoy my review of it, then read Week Two, and THEN meet me back here at this review.

Take your time. I’ll wait. Mmm. This Earl Grey is delightful. The rain seems to be abating. Look how fresh the garden looks.

Oh! You caught me woolgathering. You’re caught up now? Excellent!

Week One, being our introduction to a sixteen-week “Creative Writing in Various Media” course, was where we were introduced to the teacher and her nine students.

Where Week One focused heavily on the students learning how to effectively critique each other’s work, Week Two plows headlong into the details of their first weekend. If you were ever a college student, you probably don’t remember your weekends very clearly. If you missed the college experience, you probably have just as many weekend memories as those who were there. Either way, we the readers venture clueless into the bars and dorms of our nine stressed and frustrated proto-writers as they stumble about, trying to make sense of their recreational time, their writing assignments, and their hormones.

The story is told in a slip-slidey stream of consciousness style, which can be a handful when focused on one person – now imagine it times ten (the teacher is included for bonus surrealism).

The action is pushed forward in a real-time manner, with frequent time stamps instead of chapter breaks. Don’t expect to spend a lot of time with one student, then move on to another, and so on – we bounce around the entire group like human pinballs spring-shot into a game of life. Wow, that’s deep. Well, deeper than some of the poetry these poor saps are scrawling down anyway.

The energetic wordplay makes this a fast read, since you’re swept up in the action right alongside the characters and ride their energy. I’m starting to worry about the author – can he really keep up this pace for sixteen weeks?

Hey, if he’s game, I am too. Week Three, here we come. After I get some sleep, that is. And maybe a pizza.

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Lori Alden Holuta lives between the cornfields of Mid-Michigan, where she grows vegetables and herbs when she’s not writing, editing, or playing games with a cat named Chives.

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