“Nine Stray Shots” by Jesus Miguel Soto

The standout quality of this volume is a deeply evocative writing style that captures the imagination and immerses the reader in the setting and characters. The impeccable logic of the plotlines leads us to completely foreseen conclusions. Or completely unforeseen, but nonetheless logical, alternatives. Thus, the unreal seems commonplace, and the unacceptable comes as no surprise at all. We simply enjoy the reading experience, no matter where it takes us. And it takes us to some weird places.

Each story is a metaphor for a different attribute of human society, and, as in the case of “The Weirdo,” not always a nice one.  The first story, “Wrong Shortcuts,” has a final plot twist that is frankly macabre. The second, “We Were Already Lost Before We Went Astray,” is a masterpiece of mood, although the plot tends to go astray as well.

This book is a joy to read, whether you understand what’s going on or not. As in the last story, which is very short and very strange and leaves us with a sudden change of appreciation what the book was about.

Highly recommended for those who love good writing, whatever the genre.

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

About the Author: Gordon Long

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