Your Smallest Bones
Your Smallest Bones is a compilation of twelve short stories about life and the incredibly small aspects – small bones, that are reminders of our human frailty. Primarily set in San Francisco, seven of the stories from this unique collection have appeared in various literary journals and two nominated for the Pushcart Prize.
Rising author Sean Taylor knows how to “tailor” (no pun intended) a concept into story format. Quite a wordsmith, Taylor utilizes a wide variety of descriptive literary devices to breath life into his first and third person narratives. Taylor includes a blend of hyperboles and mixed metaphors that not only add both seriousness and comedy to his storytelling, but also give readers a moment to contemplate on his verbal presentation, and in that process hopefully grasp each story’s nuances. Lines such as “It was freezing outside, and she was backless in Alaska” and “We played amnesia for the security cameras” capture just a glimpse of what is in store for readers.
Taylor presents a slew characters – from young to old – amid an assortment of situations that is tightly coupled with Taylor’s colorful writing style. Some characters are purely nameless, as in the case of the apartment tenants that lace the vignettes in Weak Nights, the couple in This Is Too Much, and the narrator in What You’re Waiting For. Some stories have a combination of both, such as the nameless young man and his ex-girlfriend Maria in Flight and Weightlessness, the nine-year-old boy amid his named siblings in Ten Fingers Ten Toes, and the homeless man and his itinerant buddies, Jay and Bryce, in The Burden of Legitimacy. Full-bodied characters are found in stories, such as How Josh Met Emily, Hands Pressing Play, The Cherry in Spite of You, Depluralize the Pair, Where Pickled Jalapenos Grow, and Together Selfishly.
Regardless of the casting combo, Taylor easily draws readers into many familiar common-life scenarios that zero in minute facets – many times themes – of life that shine a light on human weakness. Scenarios are set in homes, hotels, nursing homes, and even among mattresses. Themes range from childhood mishaps and viewpoints on Heaven and Hell, death and dying, separation, growing old, and love jaunts. Speaking of love jaunts, Together Selfishly is one of those stories that will catch readers off guard. Seriously! And a quick word about reading the vignettes in Weak Nights: readers who are familiar with Hitchcock’s Rear Window may think back to L.B. Jefferies (aka Jeff), the wheel chair-bound professional photographer who gives a running commentary on his various tenants as he views them through his binoculars.
For readers who are looking for a book filled with great, thought-provoking human interest stories, Your Smallest Bones is unquestionably your next best read.
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