Monday, June 20, 2022

A Nice Review of My eBook Newmanesque

At one time I wanted to make a living as a short story writer and novelist. Unfortunately, I also had to put bread on the table for my family and there was no assurance of success in that compartment of my life. 

I do feel a measure of pride for many of the stories I've created, though I also have a few regrets, primarily two. First, that I didn't try harder to get my work published in journals. Second, that when I finally decided to publish my stories in a set of three eBooks, I rushed it and failed to take my time in the proofing. 

The feedback on my stories has made me feel they deserve a wider audience. Hence, I'm thinking of assembling an anthology along with a few new stories I've written since publishing these in 2011. 

I suppose there's a third regret gnawing at me on this particular title. I called it Newmanesque because someone said my stories seemed Kafkaesque. 

If interested you can find it here on Amazon. 


If “The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection,” as Michelangelo said, then it seems writers and artists must constantly strive toward perfection to engage in “true” art. It’s a never-ending struggle, and a struggle captured in Newman’s stories, particularly “The Unfinished Stories of Richard Allen Garston.” The protagonist, John Urban, struggles to regain his voice as a writer. In an effort to recapture his muse, he stumbles upon the almost mythical Richard Allen Garston and his collection of unfinished work. The story’s excellent pacing and poignancy evoke The Dialogues of Plato or the Book of Job. Our lives are like stories, Newman seems to be saying, and in the end, one character strikes out to finish his while the other doesn’t. What will we do?

“A Poem About Truth,” a shorty, punchy story, shows us the process of creating art, in this case a poem written by a French chef, can elicit derision and scorn from the world. Those who don’t understand the truth mock the chef’s work and relegate him to history’s shadows. Art (truth), however, outlasts its pallbearers and lives on. It offers a nice balance placed between two longer stories in the book.

"Terrorists Preying" may be the crown jewel of the book. Its bleakness and modernity seem to fit an age such as ours. The story seems to be attempting to answer the age-old question, What is Art? Les Garnet provides an answer many won’t like. Yet, can an age that rejects moral truths really condemn Garnet? Who are we to define what he’s doing as anything less than art? The story shows, intentionally or not, that we may not be able to begin to answer the question without appealing to fundamental moral principles many of us are loathe to entertain. The story ends as Mike, Les Garnet’s old acquaintance, prepares to paint his masterpiece, as it were. Do we cheer him? Deride him? Read for yourself and see.

This is a nice collection of thought-provoking stories worthy of appearance in any literary journal. My only criticism is that Newman should include more stories in the book. I highly recommend the book.

Dear Reviewer:
You are correct. There should have been more stories. Thanks for the kind words.

Related Link
Eight Books by Ed Newman

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