Book Review: The Lost Heifetz and Other Stories
by Michael Tabor
A distinctive and wide-ranging collection of literary short stories on identity, fulfillment and finding ones place in the world
This is a great book of short stories! A class-conscious English widower obsessed with propriety and the need to get-even; a waitress who musters up the money and courage to leave her mundane husband and life; a house sitter who takes on different personalities in response to her traumatic past. These are but a few of the fascinating and expertly wrought characters we meet in The Lost Heifetz and Other Stories, the debut short story collection from Michael Tabor.
These wide-ranging characters are the cornerstone of Tabor’s writing. In 12 very different tales, he guides the reader through a range of landscapes, both foreign and domestic, and crafts the stories of people and their behavior so richly that the experience often feels similar to reading a novel. Full of quirks and intrigue, The Lost Heifetz and Other Stories are sometimes humorous, occasionally bleak and always smart, with flawed characters trying their best to carve out a life for themselves and find the balance between how people see them and how they would like to be seen
The title story ”The Lost Heifetz”—very much a New York story—follows an amateur musician as he as a life-changing encounter with a mysterious old gentleman in a record store and becomes convinced that he is a once-famed WWII era violinst though to have died in the war. With a deft hand, Tabor pays homage to the power of music, history and the will to survive at all costs. He also imbues the prose with a little bit of the magic of a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
My favorite story in this book, “Secret agent,” centers on the life of a young woman in middle America who finds her life, especially her marriage, disappointing and ops to do something about it. This story is anything but straightforward: the protagonist, her husband, and her parents’ failed marriage before hers are all extremely complex, and no one is exempt from blame.
And in “The Show Never Stops” we meet a full cast of characters at a London theatre during a production. From the bartender, to the director, the actress and even the bar mirrow and restroom who reflects on events every evening, we get each character’s perspective on what takes plave on and off the stage. Thought-provoking for its multi-point of view narrative, this Rabelaisian tale is ultimately about how human behavior repeats itself, and venerated institutions are often the witnesses to this repetition.
“My hope is that readers will become deeply interested in these characters,” says Tabor. “I hope they’ll want to continue writing the stories in their own minds as the wonder what happened to them next.”
The Lost Heifetz and Other Stories will be available in hardcover, paperback, and e-book formats throughout North America on February 28, 2018 wherever books are sold, and is currently available for pre-order at Amazon for $18.00
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