I should like to recommend Justin Bog’s enchanting first short story collection, ‘Sandcastle and Other Stories’, which deftly examines the psychology of life:
With elegant prose, each story leads the reader through a character’s journey, requiring reflection on influential events in their lives, and finishes up with an unexpected twist at the end.
This anthology can be read as individual stories, or in its entirety, and has been my perfect bedside companion these past few days.
Here’s an excerpt from the introduction, where the author shares his inspirations for this collection:-
The first short story The Virtue of Minding Your Own Business was a runner-up in the Ernest Hemingway Short Story competition. A tale of madness, murder, and regret . .. it is also the first of two stories here inspired by the thought: What if the only thing someone wanted to be was a tree? The other tree story here is titled Cats In Trees. As a whole, I now see connections between the stories here. Many have similar themes or subject matter; twins are at play in three of the stories, Mothers of Twins, The Virtue of Minding Your Own Business, and On the Back Staircase – a highlight to the fact that I am a twin, and my younger siblings are also twins. Sandcastle and When the Ship Sinks are two stories where divorce is part of the central character’s past; these stories tackle this feeling of being unmoored from a different perspective, a woman’s and then a man’s; each of these characters take their singular philosophy and run away with it. There is also one story, Poseidon Eyes, set in an alternate fantasy world, even if the main character is the only one who sees the world with her eyes. This story’s twin or pairing is Train Crash, because of the theme of someone who can only see the world one way, but wants so much to make something big happen. And, finally, in the two stories, Under the Third Story Window and Typecast, I hoped to bring urgency to the setting, a raw tone, while keeping the characters human. Throughout the collection I wanted to instill a slight sense of humor, a dry rush, to the tone, and lend this to the characters – they really needed a headier comedic influence.
And that’s not all folks. The book incorporates a taster from Justin’s exciting new novel, ‘Wake Me Up’, due for release Autumn 2012, just to whet your appetite!