“I enjoyed the “Karmic Odds” short story tremendously. Structure, style, content, everything, just perfect, and lots of fruit for thought. Yip, is it not true that the very things that attract, sooner or later become repulsive. I think it’s all about personal space… not having enough to grow to full potential.” – Martie Coetser Pozyn
“With the same adept use of prose he shows in his full length novel, The Zebra Affaire, Fine weaves a tale that is both compelling and disturbing. This is where the author spins his best magic web. Kudos to Mark Fine for not only driving in the knife to the hilt but twisting it skillfully, and making me almost jump up and shout out “hurray”! – Elizabeth Newton
“Some of the humor in the book is wonderful, from ‘Karmic Odds’: “food being served with the delicacy of a panel beater at an auto body shop” – “the gadget looked like the progeny of an otherworldly romantic liaison between a vacuum cleaner and a gum ball machine.” – Claire Hamlisch
“Another wonderful collection of short stories coming from a talented author at Readers Circle of Avenue Park. The stories are wildly different. Like ‘Mark of the Hyena,’ a story of a disdainful social science guru meeting his match in a San Bushman. And no matter how hard I tried to figure it out, I was surprised every time by the clever endings. Bravo!” – Ulla H
“An amazing adventure of short stories that has a little something for everyone. My favorite was Mark of the Hyena, due to the sheer nature of deceit offered. Each story takes between 20-30 minutes to read and will leave you 100% satisfied.” – Grimm
“’Mark of the Hyena’ is from this writer’s perspective written in the most enviable prose style.” – Jason Greensides
An incorrigible researcher, author Mark Fine immigrated to America from South Africa, in an effort to understand what it means to be ‘a stranger in a strange land’. The stories in this folio are not autobiographical, nevertheless they reflect Mark’s stated belief, “Whether a square peg out of water or a fish in a round hole; at best it is awkward, or at worst, it can be downright deadly.”
An O. Henry and Roald Dahl fan, Mark has found short stories to be life’s rich filler amidst the stuff of boredom and routine. However, those dull lulls between lurches of hyperactivity are opportunities for creative escapism. All that’s needed is a short story, a quiet moment, and the reader’s lusty pleasure in the written word.
|Publisher:||READERS CIRCLE of AVENUE PARK|
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About the Author
Variety magazine named former Universal record label chief, Mark Fine, ‘Music Executive with 20/20 Vision’. Good thing too as Mark admits to being tone-deaf. This explains his failed effort to write a song (despite decades in the music biz). Exasperated, Mark wrote instead a stout 86,000-word saga: the critically acclaimed novel, The Zebra Affaire. Hence Mark’s fondness for short stories; they are shorter than an epic novel, yet longer than a song.
An incorrigible researcher, Mark immigrated to America from South Africa, in an effort to understand what it means to be ‘a stranger in a strange land’. The stories in this folio are not autobiographical, nevertheless they reflect Mark’s stated belief, “Whether you are a square peg out of water or a fish in a round hole; at best it feels awkward, or worse, it can be deadly.”
Due to his African roots, Mark remains a strong advocate for wildlife conservation and the protection of elephant and rhino.
The author would like to thank the following publications where these stories first appeared, in slightly different form: “Karmic Odds” in Twisted Tales, “Mark of the Hyena” in Crooked Tales.
Readers may follow Mark Fine’s efforts to compose his first song and write his next book, at the links below: