Sunday, November 9, 2008

Little Stories by Jeff Roberts

Little Stories by Jeff Roberts is a collection of 11 short stories written by the author during his time as an undergraduate student. Each story is somewhat of a snapshot of life in general, and what people go through during this journey. While some of the stories are purely fictional, there are times when I wondered if a few weren't real life accounts (just muddled up a bit in order to call it fiction).
There were a few stories in this book that I would have liked to skip over entirely (Iowa City and Tadpoles), but there are stories that left me with a tear in my eye. My favorite story in this collection was Cosette, a touching account of Roberts and his daughter losing their pet cat. I believe this story effected me because I've been in that situation, and I know how emotionally draining it is to bury a "pet" that was so much more than that; they were a part of the family.
After reading an interview by Roberts, I wasn't surprised to learn that a lot of readers enjoyed The Red and the Black. This one was on my list as one that I enjoyed as well. While Roberts welcomes a daughter into the world, his grandfather is lying in ICU on his deathbed. Through Roberts compelling writing, you find yourself wondering what you would do in that same situation. Would you sneak your newborn daughter into an ICU to meet her dying grandfather?
That's the beauty of Robert's "little stories." They transplant you into the situation and you find yourself questioning how you would react. I even came across a few stories that seemed to be written about me, and while reading those it came to my attention that Roberts has a gift. He recognizes that life is not all roses and happiness and joyful times. Life is sometimes tough and his little stories are a fantastic snapshot of what some people choose not to pay attention to.
I wished Roberts would have had someone edit his writing a little better. There were typos and incorrect use of simple punctuation. I'm sure this was not the fault of Roberts himself, but just a lack of good editing. I, however, chose to overlook this small detail because the stories were so mesmerizing.
I made a small list of friends and family that may enjoy reading this: friends graduation from college, mothers, daughters, people in relationships, sons, fathers, anyone that has lost a loved one... There is something in this small book for everyone. I suggest you pick this up, pour yourself a cup o' Joe, and let yourself get sucked into this great book.


Andrea said...

I will have to check this out. I'm normally not into short stories, but it's not because I don't like them, it's usually because I don't know of any good ones. So thanks for the review!

I'm also eagerly awaiting your review of Forever Lily. I've been passionate about adopting from China since I was 10 and started keeping up with my parents' friends who own an orphanage in China. My husband and I are hoping to adopt from there someday.

Ashley said...

I plan to finish up Forever Lily really soon. I've had a lot of shorter books come to me lately, so I'm sad to say that I've been putting Forever Lily to the side for a few days.

I'm over halfway through it so the review will be up shortly. I'm sure you'll be very touched by this story.

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