HALF AS HAPPY: STORIES ~Gregory Spatz
HALF AS HAPPY: STORIES is just about that, you know those moments in life when you could feel contented and happy and you just cannot let go of something that worries or concerns you and accept the full feeling mode. Eight intense stories of how folks assume they should feel or how they place “old stories” upon themselves and cannot release them to fully partake of the present tense.
This book came to me as a “squeeze in” and I did not have the time to read it twice. I had to make every page count. I do so enjoy a short story and just capturing that moment in a character’s living which needs to tell a whole story and be complete. THE BOWMAKER’S CATS just left me feeling like I was breathing the gypsy air of mystery and music, that is so apart of my expectation and one often does not think co-exists in the current time zone. The twists of a short story meshed with a traditional irony and how easily the reader “sees” and the character needs assistance and contemplation to figure it out.
The mothers and fathers of these folks do not fare well under Spatz words. Then we are a society which blames with ease and then holds on to something as the answer; often loath to question. His words expose a countryside which is harsher and not so readily fogged in or misty and as a result his descriptions mark the intense feelings that are being held inside and go unrevealed.
Half As Happy: Stories startled my imagination into high gear. It made me wish I was the Counselor assigned to the characters to assist with finding relief and moving forward with their lives. I dove deep into my feelings over the daughters killed by drunk drivers. I have little patience myself with folks who think gambling is the way to find happy, especially when they are cruising through some of the greatest landscape in the known world, but then what do I know? An identical twin trying to be “his own self”, and not being able to understand that their biology already made them separate; unique and reoccurring theme.
I like to keep a collection of short stories with me at all times. I am sure I will read this collection again in the next few months. This is very masculine thinking exposed with an intensity that feels very much like a sporting contest. The segments about music and instruments allowed an opening for breathing and exhaling. The writing is excellent. You are going to like Half As Happy: Stories
I am so happy that TLC book tours asked me to be on this tour and that I can offer a giveaway from Engine Books, publishers. I would have missed a delightful read if left to my own devises on this one, because It was not apparent that this was about Eastern Washington State and written by a local author/ writing professor.