Firstly Dean Blake is a pseudonym. Heaven knows why he decided to use one, but I’ll let him have it.
Secondly Surface Children is a collection of short stories, some of which are not child-friendly. In fact most of them aren’t.
I’ve followed Dean’s blog – Generation End – since it came out and I like his style. It has always been straight to the point, no mincing of words and often tinged with what feels like genuine emotion. Needless I was curious to see if he could transfer that into his book.
The long and short of it is that yes he did, but it seems that sometimes he tried too hard. Some stories like those about Eva, a vivacious, sexy and dangerous ex-girlfriend, are teeming with potential to become bigger stories and leave you on the edge. Grittier stories like ‘The Committee’ are make you pause to think about what was written and go ‘holy shit’ to yourself. These make it a strong book, a compelling read.
However that in itself is the weak point in this book. The raw emotion sometimes can overwhelm the reader. I believe someone I know, who read a few stories, used the term ‘teenage angst’ to describe the overall tone. She’s super emo, so I trust her judgment on this.
Does that mean its a bad book? Not by a long shot. It has its ups and downs ofcourse, but overall I was impressed by his transition from blog posts to a longer narrative told through seemingly unrelated stories, but chronicle someone’s life (maybe Dean’s) through different stages and different eyes. He doesn’t do it chronologically, but rather through his subjective view on how it affected him and what he felt needed to be said first.
So the long and short of it is, I’m a fan.
If you want to purchase his book you can find it here:
If you want to know more about Dean, you can follow him on twitter:
@deansgeneration or find his blog on facebook too: https://www.facebook.com/generationend