20 Short Ones: 20 Short Stories by Dan Salerno

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Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Four Silver Stars

20 Short Ones20 Short Ones: 20 Short Stories by Dan Salerno

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

“Between you and me, I understand your logic, Miss Meade. But thinking thoroughly about what everyone else accepts without thinking often upsets the applecart.”

I’m a fan of fiction that makes me think, and 20 Short Ones by author Dan Salerno is a thinking kind of read with a conversational quality to the storytelling.

The short stories take an engaging look at human relationships of different kinds, and even the religious themes among the Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant characters are relationship-focused. I especially liked the depictions of characters who are introverted or socially awkward; it can be easy to portray a character’s shyness or introversion as a “flaw” that he or she needs to grow out of instead of a human attribute that can be appreciated as much as another person’s outgoingness.

Though this is far from being a “read one story and you’ve read them all” kind of book, I thought there to be a little redundancy between some of the stories’ themes and characters. There are minor punctuation issues throughout the book, and perhaps there are a few too many instances where children in the book speak and come off more like adults.

Nonetheless, this contemplative but still down-to-earth collection conveys plenty of hope while still leaving room for the reader’s imagination, and I’d recommend it to other fans of short stories and warm, “thinking” fiction.

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