Allister Cromley’s Fairweather Belle by Shane Portman – Review

Book Review:

Not every collection of short stories needs to have a similar purpose, nor do they all need to have a defined point: they just need to entertain. Shane Portman has certainly met, and exceeded his task to entertain in this little collection, billed as Bedtime Stories for Adults.

Honestly, they were far too engaging and clever for me to read just one or two, and would be a colossal bedtime fail for me: giggles are not conducive to sleep. With some having an obviously more familiar moral lesson, other stories are simple exercises in the cleverness of the prose that highlights this unusual thinker.

Allistair Cromley is the genesis of the stories, it is his thoughts, plans, adventures and revelations we are treated to in this collection. Alternating between sharing with and lecturing to the reader, there are many surprises and few disappointments in this story.

Imagination is the singular most important element to enjoying this collection: if yours is rusty or needs some exercise – this is the collection for you. Portman also manages to insert some clever facts, intricate and beautiful prose and his smooth writing style to bring a smile and moments of lighthearted fun to your next read.

Allister Cromley’s Fairweather Belle by Shane Portman – Review

Title: Allister Cromley's Fairweather Belle
Author: Shane Portman
Published by: Self-Published
Source: Author
Pages: 76
Rated: four-stars
Get Your Copy: Amazon iTunes Kobo
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Allister Cromley’s Fairweather Belle is an illustrated collection of bedtime stories that were written to give grownups something to read aloud to other grownups or quietly  to one’s own grownup self to invoke those childhood feelings of safety, wonder and even excitement in the face of all the questions that lay in the dark.

Each sepia-tinted story follows Allister, a mustachioed adventurer/wanderer/philosopher, on his journey through the early 20th century.

He enlists in World War I, witnesses the awe and terror of the first escalator, becomes the most subtle of anarchists, dances with a bronze statue of Joan of Arc and even meets Winston Churchill (but not the Winston Churchill you may be thinking of-if, indeed, you think of Winston Churchill).

All the while, Allister is on a constant search to find the simple answers to the big questions and the complex answers to the small.

A copy of this title was provided via Author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

About Shane Portman

Shane Portman is a Los Angeles-based writer/performer with a degree in theatre and experience in Chicago's sketch and improv comedy community. He started writing Allister Cromley's Fairweather Belle as a blog in 2002 and, in 2008, began crafting the stories into live storytelling experiences with directors, actors and musicians in New York City. In 2012, the first set of 12 stories were published in a book that featured illustrations by 12 independent artists. And an additional 14 stories were spun into a podcast where each story was musically scored by a different guest musician.

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