Thursday, February 15, 2018

A Perfect Universe

A Perfect Universe: Ten Stories by Scott O'Connor
Gallery/Scout Press: 2/13/18
eBook review copy; 256 pages
hardcover ISBN-13: 9781507204054

A Perfect Universe: Ten Stories by Scott O'Connor is a highly recommended collection of short stories set in California. This sublimely written collection features stories that are observant of human nature and reactions, while capturing some of the heart break and absurdities that life can bring. Most of these people in these stories are ordinary souls caught in a moment of their lives as they reflect on or have an inner dialogue about their circumstances. Some of the people are at the mercy of events beyond the power of their control and must deal with the aftermath.

Hold On: A man trapped in the rubble of a collapsed building clings to the memory of the voice of the woman who read the names of the 146 people believed to be in the building and told them, "Hold On. We’re coming for you"
It Was Over So Quickly, Doug: An incident is told through the dialogue of a self-important business woman on her phone, bud in her ear, a man waiting for coffee in line behind her and a barista with an attitude.
Jane's Wife: Liz worries about the weight she has gained since Jane left.
Golden State: Claire and his mom move to California where she tries to get on The Price is Right. 
Interstellar Space:  "Meg started hearing things when she was ten."
In the Red: A man attends a required anger management class where attendees "learn to deal with our hostile emotions in a safe and responsible manner."
Flicker: An aging actor, who is occasionally recognized, must now deal with his one hit being excised.
Soldiers: A young boy meets some other children and joins their game while trying to avoid his drunken, irritable father and friends.
The Plagiarist: A young scholar points out that a novelists career was based on copying material from other sources.
Colnago Super: A  teenage bicycle thief searches for the child she babysits after he disappears.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Gallery/Scout Press.

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