Publisher:D Hamilton Books
Release Date:January 2012
Book Preview: "Twice Upon A Prequel & Three Shorts"
A humorous and compassionate look in the mirror: Exploring topics such as the military, life in the South, the culture of the sixties and seventies, familial dynamics, academia, and the human struggle to fit into the man-made parameters of these institutions.
Twice Upon a Prequel & And Three Shorts is a compilation of stories that delves into the lives and inner thoughts of each character as it teaches life lessons to the reader. What striked me most about the stories is the character development some you sympathize with, some you would rather not know. Through each short story, you want to understand why they acted and thought the way that they did. The stories don't always leave you having accomplished that, and in a good way this is what makes the stories very poignant and relevant.
"The Astonishing Elmo Piggens" plays off the frequent stereotypical preacher's kid. In a town and a household where rigid religious and moral beliefs are the norm, the sister is at odds with her surroundings. Elmo, who was always in the background of these events, ends up eventually taking a completely different path with his life, an extreme conviction to religion. His family, the small town minister, and his appeasing and peace-keeping wife, are themselves turned off by this unexpected zeal. I found the story to be ironic that the child who took the closest path to his upbringing ended up being the child they had the hardest time to understand.
In "The Rebirth of Reginald Dexter," Hamilton takes us into the transitional period of Reginald Dexter, as he retires before he feels it is his time. He is not ready to be "set aside." His journey of acceptance of change leads to a road of reinvention. This quest in overcoming fear and the joy in life improves his self worth and his relationship. The courage to leave behind the past and create a new life and passion is inspiring to everyone and can be applied to all situations.
While reading "Taken Up Before the General," I spent most of the story trying to see some sort of goodness in the father. The writing is quite spectacular in that even though I really couldn't, the story still felt complete to me; the lack of the connection to the customer did not get in the way of the story. It serves to make your empathy for the boy even stronger.
While men are away at war, the world does not stop. Add to that the fact that soldiers often come back changed and you have the heart grabbing story of "The War Comes Home." With sympathy for the wife, you realize that they are both victims. The story leaves off right before they are reunited, which allows the reader the ability to think for themselves on how the story might end.
Finally, "A Little Bit of Wisdom" is a quirky and short story that follows the life of a napkin. Through this wayward piece of material, the author explores the course of our actions and the fact that everything has purpose and reason for being. One person or action affects another.
This collection of stories really draws the reader in. It's not a mindless read; be prepared to have to think about the concepts and relationships that are being presented.