Sandcastle and Other Stories
There are dark times in every life, moments most hope will stay hidden and never come to light. There are moments most have thought things they would never say in the company of others or act on in the light of day. It is just such moments as these Justin Bog seems to have mined like ore as precious and as dangerous as plutonium for this tidy little book of stories that are as untidy as a life can be. Oh, I don’t mean the writing is untidy. The writing is spectacular. I mean the lives of the characters are untidy and real and dark and poignant or funny. The voices are amazingly authentic. Most of the stories are told in first person – some by men and some by women, yet all these voices seem absolutely genuine. Bog paints pictures with words as Titian did with oil paints – startlingly detailed with deep perspective and rich complexity.
The stories are those of everyday people who might live next door or in the walk-up across the street or perhaps behind a door impregnable to others. A man with a personal crisis takes a singles cruise – a woman leaves her toddler girl at the beach while having a romantic tryst – a B-list actor’s character is killed off – a girl is sucked below the sand into an underwater chamber and her life changes – an old gardener who has dark secrets interacts with the bosses daughter in a most unforeseen way. The only commonality in these tight, little stories is they are unexpected. Having this book is like having a string of black pearls – each one slightly different, but each a perfect, dark, little gem.
Chris Hayden has been working at City Book Review since 2012, so that makes him the keeper of knowledge. He manages the office and book reviewers (all 200 of them!), which is no small feat. If you’re looking at the book reviews here, you’re seeing them because he sent the books out for review. Without him, this place would fall apart, because no one else in the office knows how to use the postage machine. Two words: job security.
|Page Count||226 pages|
|Publisher||Green Darner Press|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|
|Category||Poetry & Short Stories|