I am so pleased to see so many positive reviews of this first publication by new author Dan Buri. I have always gravitated toward short stories, and this collection is so unique it beckons a new kind of reader. The stories are intimately yet subtly connected, giving both a feeling of cohesion, and that slightly thrilling feeling of spying a little clue that reveals how two characters from two separate stories are connected. In that way the author has structured it almost as a mystery novel, challenging the reader to pick up the individual pieces of the story and piece them together into a grander whole. Where it differs from a novel is of course, each story is self-contained and standalone, with a consistent, separate plot and point. But just as importantly, it differs from a typical short story collection in the following way: Each story follows the overarching theme, each story fits together into a larger story the reader is challenged to uncover, and most importantly of all, there really is no “strong” or “weak” story in the collection. In most collections, the reader will typically find at least one story they “liked best” and one they “didn’t get” at all. Not here. I can honestly say there isn’t a single bad or lacking story in the collection, and likewise, no single story dominates the collection or stands head and shoulders above the rest.
I welcome Mr. Buri to the community of creative writers, slightly surprised by the depth and originality of this first work. I am happy to have discovered this new voice and I hope to see more out of him in the future, hopefully something completely different, exploring a completely new avenue, and equally challenging and original. Mr. Buri reveals within himself a commendably deep emotional intelligence, the ability to convey grief, heartache, troubled love, healing, empathy, and a host of other equally difficult emotional wells to draw from. He deals with themes ranging from a parent losing a child, to a husband and wife taking a break, to a false criminal accusation, to visiting an ailing childhood mentor, without ever breaking pace or compromising that steady drumbeat of a moody atmosphere he’s created and maintained in this work. This is an author with lots of potential, and bravo for his first work.
* I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. *