Review of Insiders

#37 - June 2007


Few authors excel in description -- in fact, it's an area in which many writers seek training and advice. But Kim Miller's descriptive powers will surprise you. His book, Insiders, was published through Mockingbird, an imprint of Ginninderra Press, last year as a compact volume containing seven stories.

On average, the stories were longer than I'd expected -- a little over 20-ish pages each. But their length turns out to be a boon -- it gives the author time to develop his characters and situations, and give readers a strong sense of what's happening -- both in terms of what's stated, and what's left unsaid, to be read, you could say, between the lines. In short, each is "meaty", which sets them apart from so many short stories that seek to do too much in too little time, and end up feeling superficial or cliched.

Miller's characters may appear ordinary enough, as do his situations: Me 'n' You, for instance, presents us with Alice, a solo diner at an Italian restaurant. And a casual get-together in the back yard is the subject of The Mangoes They Serve In Heaven, which was published today at

But, as that work shows, his style gives every story an air of fantasy and a sense of tension that pulls readers in, and leads us to expect something. And as such, each work is tantalising from the first word. Insiders draws readers
in -- it demands our attention, but it also delivers real rewards.

The stories are anything but formulaic -- a pitfall that too few collections avoid -- and the freshness of each keeps you hooked. I found this a great before-bed book -- one story a night suited me perfectly. But you could easily read a few in an evening or a lazy afternoon without feeling any sort of sense of repetition.

Insiders is available from good bookstores and

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19 June 2007

Insiders is also available from the author

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