Unspent Time by Graham Parke is a compilation of short stories guaranteed to leave you scratching your head and thinking twice about several topics. Each story has an interesting plot and some random ideas which oftentimes left me wondering what I just read. It is full of humor and a bit of satire as Parke seems to enjoy poking fun at society in general.
I think one of my favorite stories had to be “Carbon Copies” because I could relate to the story and actually envision what life would be like both as a carbon copy and having carbon copies in a spouse. This story shares the events that one couple experiences when the wife is “carbon copied,” so the husband has two wives. It’s impossible to tell which wife is the original, and each wife has characteristics that are positive and negative. I really had a lot to think about at the end of the story. It was thought-provoking and gave me a fresh perspective for my own relationship.
Another piece I enjoyed was the interview Graham Parke had with an interviewer. I can appreciate the humor in this short interview, as Parke completely derailed the interviewer because his first book was a fictional book not about vampires. This interview/short story left me smiling. I also found the short story “What Makes People Interesting” intriguing. John is someone who designs the colors for the insides of shoes. Who comes up with such arbitrary ideas? Graham Parke does and does it well.
I recommend this book to anyone looking for random stories and off-beat humor. I enjoyed reading the many different stories showcasing Parke’s fascinating mind, leaving me curious to know more about the author and how he formulates his thoughts and ideas into stories like those found in Unspent Time.