Beem Weeks has done a marvelous job with his intriguing collection of short stories titled ‘Slivers of Life’. In this book Weeks has crafted the stories of many different characters in varied situations offering twists to the plot line which makes us ponder over the fact that we are indeed reading a master craftsman of the short story genre.
I bought this book on Amazon in the Kindle format. I was attracted by the title of the book and the pieces of glass that make up the jaggered face of a hidden man as the cover page. It is in fact these pieces, these ‘slivers’ that Weeks presents to us of ordinary people in extraordinary situations, and vice versa. Reading his book has been a pleasure, an inspiration, as well as a revelation of how a writer can make magic even in a short story of 600 words, like Weeks has done in one of the ‘Sliver’ stories in this collection titled ‘A Life Lived’.
I love short stories. I’m crazy about them and when I read a collection of good, wholesome and astounding short stories, I’m a happy person, and Weeks with his book has made me a fan of his work.
There are twenty short stories in this book all packed with strong characters with a powerful sense of presence, that really makes you feel one with their tale. Some of the stories can make you laugh, some can get you all choked up, and some just make you ponder on the snippets of insights presented by the writer. My favorites were ‘Lost Boy’ because I have noisy neighbors too, ‘Bodies Terrestrial’ because of the wry humor of the three-youth involved in the plot, ‘And A Little Child Shall Lead Them’ because it made me cry, ‘Mr. Woodlick’ because of the unusual form of charity put forward and ‘Remaining Ruth’ because I know how it feels to deal with teenagers, and to have once been a teenager.
These short stories are character centric. The time gap varies, so it’s a collection for everyone. Each story has an ingrained message which comes forward beautifully through the master penman, Beem Weeks. The book is about 193 pages and I wished to God that it could have been longer because the ‘slivers’ were one better than the other.
I loved the title of the book. ‘Slivers of Life’ is about the lives of the annoyed Mr. Spellman (Lost Boy), the confusion of Richard Metzger (The Distance), the gutsiness of Chad Nortak (Night Flight) and the rage of Tristan (Yearbook). All these slivers are jagged. They can wound a person, and they are themselves full of the pain—the pain we call ‘everyday life’. But sometimes, even wounds can make you kind of happy (Remaining Ruth), and to know that we are not the only one struggling through it all, makes the pain lighter to bear.
The prose of Weeks is smooth, easy to read and light. His descriptions are minimal as short stories these days should be. The American accent of the writer melts into your mouth like rich honey and I especially felt that in the short story titled ‘Mr. Woodlick’.
I highly recommend this book of short stories to all adult readers. If you like short stories then you should be reading Beem Week’s ‘Slivers of Life’. If you are not too much into short stories but want to make a start then try this book first. If you love easy- to-read books with intriguing plots and strong characters then this is the book for you. As mentioned earlier, there are only 193 pages in this book so if you’re looking for a quick read during a hectic week then try ‘Slivers’. If you are going on a short journey by train or plane, then do read this book. The stories are realistic and the narrative skills of Beem Weeks are more than commendable. Beem Weeks is a highly accomplished short story writer.
Do support his book and happy reading to you all.
Copyright ©2019 Fiza Pathan