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Literature / Barking Benjamin

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Remember the stories from your childhood? Remember the fairy tales you were told, the cartoons and the talking animals you laughed at? They're real. And they've changed.

Everything that has ever been imagined, every book, every TV show, every movie, every cartoon, exists in another plane of reality. When a TV show airs or a book is written, a new world is born; the world of that book or show given life by the minds and thoughts by all that created and viewed it.

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And once a fictional world has been created, it grows. It changes, even if the project that inspired it has ended. The very minute a fictional world comes into being, it absorbs. Duplicating elements from reality, other fictional worlds and the creators' and viewer's thoughts, the world becomes something almost unrecognisable from what it originally was.

And that's where Barking Benjamin comes in. Formally the star of a famous cartoon series, he has learned of his fictional status, and has slowly gone insane from that revelation, how it affected his friends, and how the nature of fictional worlds have transformed the settings of cheerful children's cartoons into warped mirrors of the adult world. As if to add insult to injury, his cartoon is currently being adapted for film, and everyone involved treats the film like a meal ticket and nothing more.

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Barking Benjamin is a short story anthology written by Gareth Barsby, documenting Benjamin's travels and documentations of other fictional worlds and reality and what he has found.

Stories include:

  • Barking Benjamin: Barking Benjamin was once a happy-go-lucky cartoon dog, causing fun and mischief wherever he went. Now all his friends have committed suicide and he's learned of what his life really is. After years of misery, he's finally going to do something about his situation, targeting a movie adaptation of his cartoon series...

  • Little Red Wolf: Set in a world inhabited by anthropomorphic wolves, this story is loosely based on a certain fairytale. Teenage wolf Red has always dreamed of being like her grandmother, a retired policewoman who helped capture the infamous Hood. Now the Hood has returned, apparently out for revenge against those who helped put him away. This news leaves Red anxious and concerned for her grandmother - and leads her to cross paths with the Hood himself.

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  • The Rock and Roll Rat: Julie Rottson is an aspiring guitar player. She's also a rat with a Scouse accent, torn between her hatred of humans and her wish to become more human herself. When she builds her own guitar, it at first helps soothe her, but it loses its magic when it leads other rats to use her. Can Benjamin and a camel help Julie reignite the magic of her music?

  • The Ring of Charlemagne: There is said to be a magic ring that can make everyone fall in love with whoever wears it, and Abraham, a man with the ability to locate mystical objects, is looking for it. The ring, however, may have a story of its own.

  • The Gator: A biker's routine of lounging about, taking out his hog for a spin, and having a pint with his mates is rudely interrupted when a talking alligator appears in his house, seeking asylum. Though "Beth" may be more trouble than she's worth...

  • The Beast: Aristocratic loner Mortimer Magglesworth has been cursed to be a giant anthropomorphic lizard, but he decides to make lemons out of lemonade, adjusting to a life of solitude and ostracization. Then he meets Cassie...

It is available for Amazon Kindle and its official website can be found here.


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