Friday, September 9, 2011

Review: The Book of Life by Stuart Nadler


A collection of seven short stories involving characters who are all involved in the midst of conflict involving faith, family, grief, love, temptation, and redemption.

Stuart Nadler's writing is uniquely driving and intensely captivating. I had a difficult time putting the book down and if not for other obligations, I would have finished it in a day. Nadler has a way of describing the situations involving his characters both efficiently and effectively. Throughout the book I found myself empathetic, uncomfortable and even awkward as I related to these people with an endearing attachment as though they were dear friends.

These stories have cliff-hanger timing. It angered me dearly as he would end one story and begin another at  times that felt so inopportune to me that I found myself cursing him silently. I had become so invested in that story, it forced me to let go and move on to the next story, not knowing if things ever resolved themselves or if the characters were successful with their paths from that moment forward. I had no chance to negotiate with this 'Ghost of Christmas past' and perhaps stay for a moment longer onlooking. No closure, as much as I hated that... it signified to me the capabilities of a great author, as he invoked many emotions in me.

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