Afterlife and Other Stories by Ed Krizek
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Afterlife and Other Stories by Ed Krizek is a collection of short stories provoking different feelings, some happy, some sad, etc., and to be honest with you, some I didn't quite understand the point of. I am assuming that they all have a point, some sort of conclusion, trying to relay a message or thought otherwise there really wasn't a point to the author writing them. Some of the stories I understood right away what that point was but others just left me hanging and wondering what I missed.
The stories varied in length but all of them short stories so there really was no 'bond' with any of the characters, more of a superficial feeling for them. None go very deep into the character which makes the cover of the book so appropriate, an orange "here I am" color but no 'scene' to really get 'into'. This isn't one of the stories but an explanation of what I mean by that is: 'There was a little girl who loved her doll. She went with her mother on errands and when she got home she realized the doll was lost. She was very sad and cried and cried. They went back to the store and the little girl was so happy to see her doll sitting on the counter waiting for her. She scooped the doll up and held her so tight.' Although I didn't bond with the little girl in that story, I don't even know how old she is or her name, I would feel sad she lost her doll and then happy she found her.
Before I go any further I should point out that I read in bed before sleep so 'my brain is drained' so to speak and I prefer stories where the author draws the conclusions and there isn't a lot of 'thinking' on my part. I know what the plot is, it is very clear and the conclusion ends the story (or carries it over into the next book) but there is always some sort of ending with some problem solved or question answered. Some of these stories in this book left me with more questions as to what the point was. I can draw multiple points from them but unsure which was the correct one (or even if there was a 'correct' one). This didn't relax me, it only adds to me thinking, staying awake, and frustration even. So the only conclusion I can draw is that this book just wasn't for me.
Not that I am saying there are no good stories in it. I found 'The Beggar' very good and 'Peregrination' comical, just to name a couple. I also found some quotes very interesting, for example, in one of the stories someone explained the difference between neurotics and psychotics and said that "neurotics build castles in the sky and psychotics move into them". Quite amusing and I imagine very true!
To sum it up, the stories in the book all may have been good but it just isn't my kind of 'bedtime' stories
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