4 out of 4 stars
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Something in the Middle: Small Stories From the Far Side of Consciousness by A. I. Wand is an anthology of short stories. The book was written by 'Not-Wand.' 'A. I. Wand' is 'Not-Wand's' pseudonym; However, his pen name is 'Augie Christie.' 'Augie Christie's' pseudonym is 'Sir Agatha.' It is essential to keep these names in mind as you read this entertaining book as they will turn up frequently. Don't worry; as you read the book, it will all become clear.
This book has thirty-eight short stories, some that will give the reader a good chuckle, while others will cause them to laugh out loud. It is impossible to mention all of them, but I particularly enjoyed "The Online Seminar," in which Augie teaches his "Anyone Can Write" course. "Lilac" is about how everything that can go wrong in one day does. "If Only" describes the job of no one's dreams. "Noodles" is hilarious. It shares instructions on preparing to eat spicy hot wings and explains time and the earth's rotation speed. There are so many unique stories. Some are funny, others poignant, like "Aurora," and those that have discernable sexual innuendos such as "T.E.A.M" and "Curse."
Although I enjoyed many of the funny stories, I mostly liked the heart-touching "Aurora." A young woman with cancer dreams of going to Alaska to see the northern lights before she dies. She finally gets a chance to make the trip and is rewarded with a spectacular display of the beautiful luminescence. However, the story has a surprise ending that the reader doesn't expect.
The author included brief descriptions of the characters early in the book, which helps the reader follow each story. There are three parts to the book called "trimesters" (yes, as in pregnancy). These are titled "Strange Cravings," "Wild Mood Swings," and "Nesting Behaviors." Most of the stories are humorous. The characters are all developed to perfection, and some cross over from one narrative to another. It takes talent to manage so many different personalities and keep them interesting. The author's writing style is unique and enjoyable. After the main stories, the author includes "Bonus Material"—"Deep Cuts, Demos, and Outakes"— that the reader won't want to miss.
My favorite part was the fantastic graphics at the beginning and end of each story. What I disliked most were the profanity and graphic sexual innuendos. One scene in "T.E.A.M" doesn't appear to be sexual at first, but it becomes apparent due to the vivid description that follows. Overall, the book was well-edited, although I found some errors, none of which interfered with my enjoyment.
I have never been a short story fan, but I enjoyed reading this book and found the stories creative. I gladly rate Something in the Middle by A. I. Wand 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend it to anyone over the age of eighteen who enjoys short stories and humorous content. The occasional strong sexual innuendos may be offensive to some readers. There is some profanity, albeit not in excess. This book probably would not appeal to most Christian readers.
Something in the Middle
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