Monday, November 24, 2008

Little Stories


Jeff Roberts
Outskirts Press (2008)
ISBN 9781432727277
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (10/08)

"Little Stories" contains a collection of eleven short stories about human nature.  The author, Jeff Roberts, did an incredible job with writing these tales.  He brings each one to life and is able to vividly describe them in a way that makes them appear real.  The stories range from a tale about a mischievous boy who gets in trouble, to one about an elderly grandfather who is preparing to die as his great-granddaughter is welcomed into the world.  Other stories involve relationship issues and making decisions without integrity.
The personal issues tend to deal with being disappointed about the ending of the relationship.  Loneliness and betrayal are often felt.  However, there is a feeling that the persons experiencing the loss of a relationship will find their own strengths in the end that don't involve being with someone else.   This comes from our evolution through personal growth. 
I really enjoyed these compelling stories.  I found myself wishing that there were more.  It really takes a lot of talent on the part of an author to be able to fully pull a reader into a story, especially when it is a short story.  Mr. Roberts is an exceptionally talented writer.  I was very impressed with his ability to write.  I wish I had adequate words to truly describe his talent, but I don't.  I suspect he could easily come up with them though.  While I am sure that these tales took a great deal of work to write, especially since he wrote them as a college student, his words do appear like they just flowed across the page.
I am trying to decide which story had the most impact on me.  I think it would be the last one, called "Cosette," that deals with the loss of a precious pet.  Having been in this situation several times myself, I found myself really feeling for the character as he had to deal with the loss for himself and for his daughter.  This story was especially poignant to me because it brought back many of my memories of being in this situation.  Fortunately for me, I had to deal with them alone, and have not had to watch a child suffer through it. 
I think that "Little Stories" by Jeff Roberts will make an excellent addition to the collections of people who enjoy quality fiction.  It would also be a great book for a college-level reading course and it would be a great selection for reader's groups.  I truly hope that more stories will be forthcoming from Mr. Roberts.