Small is Big - Review

These days we see lot of innovation in fiction formats. People write plays, ballads, multiple authors writing the same story to name a few. Some of these have been fueled by mediums such as blog which connects people across the world and promotes certain literary form. I don’t know if writing English poetry in regional poetry forms such as Tanku, Haiku, Ghazal, Triolet etc. would have become that popular without internet and blogs. Flash fiction is one of those things that has gained lot of popularity with the advent of blogs. The thing about them is that they are succinct and delivers a strong punch. In this age of low attention span, these take less time to write, less time to read. The entire story is around 50-200 words. Of course, this form has been around all the time. The most famous instance being Ernest Hemingway’s 6-word story – ‘“For sale, Baby shoes, Never worn.”

Rafaa Dalvi who has been an enthusiastic participant in this online literature sharing especially of the flash fiction variety has gone ahead and compiled an entire book of these short ones. It is a very interesting concept and I was curious to try it out. I have to say he has done a commendable job. One can see his dedication to bring out a good piece of work, meticulously working through every piece. For a book is not just the writing.

Let us start with the titled. “Small is Big” conveys exactly why the reader must pick the book for in this flash fiction, small stories convey big ideas. The picture on the cover is also appropriate depicting a lens magnifying a pawn into a King which kind of conveys the idea. Though I would day Pawn to queen would have been a better idea for in a game of chess, pawn can never become King but can become queen. But that is just nitpicking. Moving on to the blurb, that is also well done, giving sample of the kind of stories one expects to see within the book. Within the book, he has nicely arranged the stories in alphabetic order, ensuring at least one story per alphabet. The one story per page also works well. It looks neat.

Coming to the stories as such, it is a mixed bag as author says. The book has something for everyone. It has humor – a few of slap stick variety, playing on puns, it has punch where you get a most unexpected twist, it has philosophy, it has romance and it has horror – stories that chill your spine. But the thing about having something for everyone also means there will be something everyone will not like for tastes are different and you offer an assorted mix, everyone will like a few, dislike a few – no one will like the entire offering. I too felt some of the shorts were interesting. Others seem to be cliched and overused themes. Few felt downright silly; some made you think. Some felt over dramatic. But I guess that is how it will be with 100 whole stories. I thought of sharing the ones I liked most from the book but then whoever have tastes similar to mine, would have already read the best ones. So, what remains to read in the book? In that way doesn’t it become a spoiler of sorts?

I personally felt it was overdose of flash fiction for me. It takes reader some time to get into each story. Once reader gets into the flow of the story, he begins to enjoy the experience. However, when story is so short, it becomes like a Chennai-Bangalore flight – the journey is over even before you strap your seat belt. So there isn’t that slow savoring of the imaginary world of the story. That is my problem with everything that is short – articles, blog posts etc. Every time you need to attach and detach your mind. And it becomes too rapid in the case of flash fiction. So I prefer the longer ones – long short stories and novels. But that’s again me. For some it may work. After all almost everyone reads newspapers. It might work for those who don’t want to commit to an entire experience but savor only bite sized ideas.

Overall I feel it is good piece of work and for a reader interested in this kind of work, it is a definite must- read.

You can pick the book here on Amazon.

This review is part of The Book Club Tours. I have received no remuneration for reviewing the book and free copy was picked up by me when it was available for general public.
Blog Tour: Small is Big: A collection of 100 micro tales by Rafaa Dalvi

A Collection of 100 Micro Tales
Rafaa Dalvi

Blog Tour: Small is Big: A collection of 100 micro tales by Rafaa Dalvi


Have you always wanted to read more, but you could never finish that one book?
You kept putting it off, hoping you would find some free time, only to find out that months or even years went by and you saw little progress.

That’s about to change!

With Small is Big, Rafaa Dalvi has created a potpourri of 100 diverse micro tales (140 characters or less) that will provide you a rich experience in easy-to-digest fragments and urge you to read one page after another before you finally finish the book.
And the best part is that there’s a story for everyone, including YOU!

If you’re a romantic at heart, this micro tale is for you-
She kissed his cheek as he smiled back. Nothing had changed much since two decades.
Her husband called her.
She hid the photo in the closet.

If you love happy endings, this micro tale is for you-
You rested on my lap, opened yourself before me and shared your fantasies with me.
Then the stories ended and you turned back into a book.

If you are a big fan of word play, this micro tale is for you-
They’re lying in bed. 
“You’re the one,” he says; he’s lying. 
“I never doubted it,” she says; she’s lying. 
They’re lying in bed.

And if you like thrillers, this micro tale is for you-
There were two of us and one vacant position.
He would die for this job and I would kill for it.
No wonder it worked out just fine for me. 

In fact, there are 100 such small tales that will have a big impact on you.

Grab your copy @

About the author

Rafaa Dalvi, 26, is a vibrant mess of innumerable thoughts, quotes and movie dialogues who tries to escape from the mundane with words. He dreams about changing the world, one smile at a time. When he’s not busy befriending the voices in his head, he can be found in cosy corners, sipping green tea from a wine glass. As for everything else in between, there is food.

An alumnus of NMIMS Mumbai, he wants to be a versatile writer following in the footsteps of his role models Michael Crichton, Charles Dickens and Roald Dahl.

Already published numerous times, his stories can be read in the anthologies – Curtain Call (editor), Terribly Tiny Tales Volume 1, Kaleidoscope, Myriad Tales and Her Story. His first solo book ‘Small is Big’ is a collection of 100 micro tales. He’s the recipient of Indian Bloggers League Booker Prize 2013, the winner of Melonade 5 and a Select Writer at Terribly Tiny Tales.

  You can stalk him @     


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