Today is something a little different. I would like to present you with a collection of short stories – each stands alone as a moving piece, but together they form a snapshot of moments in time for a community. In addition to the review, there is an Interview with the author, as well as a short Author Bio with contact information, a giveaway that you enter Rafflecopter to be the lucky winner of one of 5 eBook copies of the book. Please be sure to see the other stops on the tour:
9/25 The Insane Writings of a Crazed Writer Guest Post and Interview
10/1 Books, Books and More Books Review
10/2 My Cozie Corner Review
10/3 All Things Writing Guest Post
10/4 Identity Discovery Guest Post
10/5 The Self-Taught Cook Review
10/5 wise words book blogger Guest Post
About the book: Twelve short stories, all set in modern-day Knoxville, Tennessee, and each exploring the rhythms and currents of relationships, encounters, and the conflicts within characters themselves. From the reality beneath the surface of a hotel manager’s charm, to the sadly funny and complex clashes between a family on a holiday carriage ride, Beautiful Man and Other Stories probes the fascination of lives as shaped by Southern, and all too human, forces.
I received an electronic copy of this book from the author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review, and all conclusions are my own responsibility.
This is a collection of short stories, each one perfectly capable of standing alone; the combination of the twelve creates a poignant tale of a community, no different than any other. What the author has so cleverly done is set all of the characters into the city of Knoxville, thus freeing him to deal only with the characters and the stories they tell. Having always been a fan of the short story, this compilation provides a wide and broad selection of humanity to sample in little bite sized pieces.
The stories all center around small groups of interactions, the hidden judgments made of appearance, history and the resignation of the characters to both elements while living in the moments the story details. A short story, when done well, is a photograph in time, where each word and sentence must reinforce that photograph, and there is little to no room for overselling: the story must peak with the conclusion, and all lines must lead to that conclusion. There needs to be a tightrope walker’s sense of timing and balance with all elements to reach a successful conclusion, whether or not the reader is comfortable with the conclusions drawn.
This book does all of that and more: while set in the south, they transcend that expectation a reader may have of a southern storyteller and just appreciate the quality of the writing. There is a feel, with each of the stories, that I have fully ‘met’ the people involved, and understand that moment and their part in it, with clarity and detail that they perhaps don’t see themselves. And that is the hallmark of a short story (or series) well worth reading.