||Juny 26, 2006
Twelve tales of love (won and lost), hope, betrayal, mystery, murder and madness (real and imagined).
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The twelve stories have one thing in common, which the author leaves to the reader to find. The tales cover territory from biblical Judea, Ireland and the United States.
A new, and likely controversial,angle on the story of Judas begins a journey through the minds of people dealing with mental abilities and disorders, the joy and pain of new love, a captured moment, a stolen kiss and a battle of wits between men on opposite sides of the law.
Oh, and there is even an alien abduction with unfortunate consequences.
She glanced up at the window of Borders coffee shop and caught the eye of an older guy who seemed to be watching her. He raised his paper cup and smiled. She smiled back then looked down at the book again. She wondered if he had actually been watching her or if their eyes had met simply by chance. She immediately felt better because doing this took her away, temporarily, from the real and now. People watching and reading were usually the ways she passed the time between customers. It was the first time today that she had gotten beyond the cold and speculated on anything. She looked up at the window again and saw the man talking to a woman—his wife?—they laughed about something and the woman turned and walked away. The man went back to his coffee and took a sip. He grimaced as if it was very bitter and looked at it as if that would change anything. He glanced down, saw her and smiled broadly because he knew she had seen his reaction. He grimaced again, this time more dramatically and made a motion as if throwing the cup away. She laughed and moved her hand in a small wave. Then the woman returned, with a cup, and sat down. She saw the man point in her direction and, for some reason, turned away as if she had been caught doing something improper. She looked at the book again, gave up and closed it. No study today. Anyway it was Friday and she had all weekend to catch up before class on Monday. She looked up surreptitiously, as if she was spying, and saw that the man and woman had left. She turned toward the door on Michigan Avenue and saw them come out, bags in hands, like almost everyone else, and accompanied by two girls in their late teens or twenties; probably daughters. They were laughing as they headed south on Michigan and disappeared from view.
An O. Henry twist
The short story is an art form that very few perfect. Poe and O. Henry come to mind. I recently was introduced to a new author along those very lines...Anthony Waugh. His collection, "Issi's (and other) Tales," is an example of awesome writing ability.
Twelve little stories, or rather, eleven short and one longer one, fill the pages with a very interesting variety of topics. All of them though, demonstrate an amazing knowledge of the human beast. Portraying that knowledge in such a way that each character comes to life before the reader's eyes, Waugh shows the world his gift.
Recreating Judea and the days of Jesus and his followers is a bold step, but so well done in the first story that you will be enticed to continue on to the next tale. Each story does the same, tempting and enthralling into the next chapter. Often, I was left open mouthed from an O. Henry twist, so much so that I could not wait to see what could come next... A story of raw human strength erupted by anger, another, about straying from a marriage, and my favorite, a look into the dementia of an elderly woman, lost in her mind and trying desperately to remember life.
Each story is complete and the plot unique. Anthony Waugh uses words as a paintbrush to depict a picture of some of the darker sides of life. Absolutely well done!
Review by Heather Froeschl.
A treat to be savored
Issi's and Other Tales is an anthology of colorful tales by author and business expert Anthony Waugh. Twelve stories ranging in setting from first-century Judea to Ireland of the sixties to modern-day Indianapolis and the inner mind of a man gradually losing his sanity, covering human love, murder, and intrigue, as well as wit and wisdom. Tantalizingly written, each story sparking curiosity to delve deeper into its tangled mystery, Issi's and Other Tales is a treat to be savored, one mysterious story at a time or all at once.
Review by Midwest Book Review
The ideal fodder for short story writing is an ability to see small moments from a unique perspective, and to encapsulate that perspective in believable, enduring characters in a short space of time. Anthony Waugh has that ability in spades.
"Issi's (and other) Tales" contains a wide variety of short stories ranging from a clever perspective on the story of Christ's crucifixion, to a disturbing glimpse into the mind of a developing serial killer. Between these are moments stolen from imaginary lives that show that simple moments can often be insightful and entertaining.
Anthony Waugh is a marvelously engaging writer, with works of true creativity and intelligent accessibility. Fascinating plots and angles, from the simple to the complex, are a strong background for his character development. The subjects he chooses are challenging, but he takes them on with grace and intelligence, and the result is a pleasure to read.
Anthony Waugh pays tribute to his homeland of Ireland by using it as a setting in many of his short stories. Presently he lives in Indiana with his wife, where he works as a consultant, and as a business speaker.
An excellent book, highly recommended by reviewer, Nancy Morris, Allbooks Reviews.
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