Book Review – Meowing on the Answering Machine

Meowing on the Answering Machine

MEOWING ON THE ANSWERING MACHINE is a collection of more than forty flash fiction pieces, which span twenty years of author Robert Emmett’s writing career. Most are short enough for a joke-of-the-day calendar, but a handful are a few paragraphs longer and feature his remembrances of the past, self-reflective passages, and apocalyptic fiction. My favorite tend to deal with writing, inventions, and coffee. The occasional margin is complemented with a doodle to accent the story’s theme.

“The Writer Calls in Sick “: Rather believable and humorous email conversation between writer and editor

“Chicken Joint from the Front”: Because radioactive self-cooking chickens aren’t weird enough

“Dangle: Oh, the first line! “Have you ever noticed that architecture isn’t really well-represented in tattoo art?” And, somehow, getting from that to tats as ways to commit medical fraud against the insurance companies!

“Johnson and Grandparents”: Genius of the Temporal Transportation System

“Coffee”: Coffee is priced by the syllables it takes to say the name of it? Something we all know instinctively, yet only now has it been put into words. These words, however, end too soon, and I’d love to see this one in a lengthier form.

“The Comma Sutra”: Punctuation intervention drives a man to madness

“Self Portrait with Nail””: Complaints about misinterpreted art from the YA artist’s POV

“Taxiderm”: The Taxidermist Laureate, preserver of White House pets and road kill, moves on to bigger and better things

“Black Holes”: Science fiction infomercial

“Sparks”: YA camping couple takes advantage of some alone time…but things really heat up for them.

“The Lion Dog Sleeps”: What makes the heroic household hero go bonkers

“Drunk Dialing”: Yes! I know people who need the breathalyzer telephone app (and it’s not what you think).

“Headlong”: The missing ingredient in becoming a writer. (And, for once, someone is offering great advice.)

No, this isn’t a prize-winning collection. With so many stories departing from a genre-themed umbrella, it’s even difficult to classify. But, I recommend that you buy and keep it on hand – just don’t try to read it all in one sitting. MEOWING ON THE ANSWERING MACHINE is a collection with a flash piece for any mood, making these prose a valuable addition to your physical bookshelves or e-library.

Also, buy sticky notes. You’ll want to mark some of the pages for reference (and to show your friends). Have a camera ready for the spit-takes. It’s a Facebook photo blackmail opportunity not to be missed!

Rating: 8/10 giggles
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Pub. Date: January 15, 2014
Pages: 164

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About the author

Lori J. Parker

My best friends are books. A good book, a purring cat, and a cherry soft drink is a wonderful day. When I'm not reading, I'm writing quirky and creative copy for freelance publishing gigs in marketing /PR, social network campaigns, journalism, and blogs. That still leaves time for me to proofread manuscripts, teach Braille to blind people, design websites, and create bead jewelry from natural materials. I try to be a well-rounded book nerd. Contact me at


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