(Former Pulitzer Prize Contender) Dangling from a rope in an Appalachian cave or trembling from vertigo on a canyon ledge, wrestling a chain-scarred boulder or arguing with a wily Leprechaun, Ingram's short story characters bring to life humor, challenge, regret, and hope. After decades of procrastination, a field worker finally decides to attend his high school reunion. Another character seeks understanding of a journey into the Southern river wilds to evict its backwoods inhabitants. In contrast, some stories deal with the laughter in life, such as a frustrated student who never seems to have the correct time and an inebriated musician tackling an unfamiliar delta dish. These stories are sure to bring chuckles and tears, reflection and foresight, and you'll find yourself reading them, sharing them, again and again.
Danny Lee Ingram
. . . The train rocked gently from side to side, the
quiet roar of the steel wheels rolling along
forgiving tracks, almost hypnotic, soothing. The
intermittent wail of the train's horn several cars
ahead brought back memories of that old trestle
where he and Sammy used to play after school.
They would lay pennies on the tracks and hide
under the weathered beams till the train passed
over. Then they would climb up and recover
their flattened treasures. . . .
. . . The doe didn't move as we approached,
except for a slight nod at times, and Grandpa
walked slower the closer he got. He must not
have known I was behind him because he never
looked back. He just kept on walking. Then he
slowly spread his arms out by his sides, his palms
open toward the doe. . . .
"I didn't know."
The deer stared straight at him, never moving.
"Please—forgive me. I told you before. I just
didn't know." . . .
But the deer just looked back at us for a
couple of seconds, snorted mist into the cool
mountain air, and suddenly bounded off into the
woods, its lope quickly fading till there was
nothing but the distant screams of blue jays
somewhere in the treetops. . . .
from "Ripples in Silence"
. . . The gibbous moon, only half risen over the
Appalachians, cast its soft light onto the rolling
tips of distant pines. The water lay still, the
mirror image, sharp and clear, broken only by
the occasional jump of a hungry young bass
leaping for the twinkling morsels above. . . .
Suddenly, shots rang out, and the wheelhouse
window burst into fragments. I ducked below the
tiny wall as lead whacked against both sides of
the steamer, and the boat swerved to the right
with an unattended wheel. I reached up and hit
all-stop, and we floated backwards toward the
left bank and ground to a halt in the shallows. At
least we weren't drifting. Finally, I got up the
nerve to peek out the door. Chuck lay flat on
deck, smiling curiously at me. . . .
from "Is That Clock Right?"
. . . Then I slowly gaze up toward the culprit of
this predicament. The clock. I fantasize tying its
lying little hands with its own ugly cord and
drowning it face-first in that last shoe-deep
puddle. But this clock's not the only one. It seems
that every clock on campus is conspiring to make
Some days, it takes me only a couple of
minutes from one class to another, according to
the arrival clock. Some days, fifteen. That's when
I'm late. Then some days, I get there before I
Realizing that something has to be done, I
search the campus for our resident clock
watcher, Hans Turner. . . .
Also available as audiobook.
"Aging turns belief into truth in one's own mind."
Reviewers International Organization
Reading a carefully crafted, engaging collection
of short stories transports the reader into
genuine life experiences that pique the mystery
of memory, hunger, conversation,
understanding, relationships, interaction with
nature, dreams, visions, and so much more that
is indescribably precious. Danny Lee Ingram's
latest collection, Pennies On The Tracks, so
fulfills the promise of what great writing offers.
Stare out the train windows on the way to a high
school reunion, reflecting on what luscious
harvest the years have borne and augur. Wonder
at the killing of a mate and the hunter's
consequent guilt offering. Swagger with the cave
explorer who hides fear under his singular claim
to journey to the center of the earth. Rebel at
time's tyranny and believe in visitors from other
Reflect on the effect of war and small dreams
gone awry, while painting the world with one's
own true colors. Struggle with determination to
move the indomitable obstacle in one's path and
wrestle through one's inner, tormenting voices.
Gauge your own interpretation of human loss
with nature's divine sight. Travel down the river,
climb mountains, and prepare to find the
company representative sent to clear out
residents for modern technology's latest benefit.
Finally, spend the time deciding what you would
wish should a leprechaun offer you the
fulfillment of your most secret desire.
While these words seem to describe several
stories, they are just the beginning of a rich,
evocative experience that is sure to be relished by
Wonderful, D. L. Ingram!
Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on January 24,
Crystal Reviews / Reviewers International
Midwest Book Review
Pennies on the Tracks is a collection of enjoyable
short stories. I was delighted to find stories that
caused me to think deeply about my past, stories
that made me smile and stories that reminded
me of happenings in my own life that I had long
I particularly enjoy stories that have a surprise
ending, such as, "Winesaps." I will not tell you
what this story is about as it would ruin the
surprise element, but trust me it is a story you
will remember for the rest of your life, especially
if you are a hunter. Could this tale be true? You
tell me. Excellent job Mr. Ingram.
The book is written in the good old fashion
storytelling way, with the author weaving his
tales in and out and wrapping them around your
heart and mind; making you feel as if you are a
participant in each story. Indeed, you are on that
train, in that cave and holding that gun, as you
become engrossed in the very core of the
workings of each character. Well done!
Pennies on the Tracks is full of adventure,
mystery, laughter, nostalgia, and even a smell of
the supernatural. A short read full of tantalizing
tidbits of literary enjoyment. I recommend this
work to those who would like to take a ride on
the rolling rail of an excellent read, that you will
remember as you continue on your journey that
we call life. Recommended.
MidWest Book Review
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