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Book Review of "Snapshots", by Eliot Parker

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Snapshots is a collection of eleven separate ingenious tales penned by author Eliot Parker.  There is richness in his detail with an accurate depiction of human passions and frailties. Stories that tell of a brother gone bad, a minor drug dealer sentenced to big time in prison, a sheriff who meets a nightmare, a tale about baseball, and much more. Parker has given us a treasury of tales that represents an astonishing range of short stories.  It’s a collection of tales in various hues and timbres. All these stories have one point in common—the consistent quality of Parker’s storytelling.

 

Each of the eleven unrelated stories is character-driven with distinctive settings and twisted, unanticipated happenings.  Some of the plots involve the paranormal, with strange, eerie happenings. Other plots resonate with today’s contemporary life. All the stories climax or culminate with strong, unexpected endings.

These short stories present strong, distinctive characters that the reader can visualize.  Couples, convicts and cops, good ol' boys and lovers populate Parker’s work. Alex “…thin frame, prominent cheekbones, sparkling green eyes, and pouty pink lips, grinned nervously, unsure of what to do or say”. Mark is described as having gray skin, mouth hanging open with slightly parted lips. Eyes and mouth “frozen wide open in an expression of stunned surprised.” Logan “teased his dark bushy hair… The hair matched his small, round, dark eyes and mocha-colored skin”. Every story has one or more characters that are just as distinguishing as these mentioned.

Although short and designed to be read in one sitting, the plot, setting, and characterizations in these stories hold the reader’s attention. The strong surprise endings encourage the reader to turn to the next story. With haunting authenticity, Eliot Parker takes you on an exploration of the human psyche and the candid nature of humanity. The stories display a blend of all emotions, and it unveils many of the demons of real-life.  The storylines are well crafted, and Parker narrates his tales at a fast pace. Some of the offerings are poignant, while others are grim and foreboding. These short stories reflect the essence of daily life and its complexities.

I would highly recommend Snapshots to anyone looking for a good assortment of fantastic contemporary stories in one book that offers a healthy mix of emotional precision, subtle insight, and ambiguous dark humor. 

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