Customer Reviews for

The Middle-Aged Man and the Sea

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2006

    Middle Aged Man and the Sea

    Christopher Meeks bounces onto the literary scene as a vibrant new voice filled with talent and imagination. THE MIDDLE-AGED MAN & THE SEA is one of the finer collection of short stories that will rapidly rise to the top to of the heap of a battery of fine writers of this difficult medium. Meeks writes about all the little bumps and stumbling blocks we all face in our contemporary journey through life. His stories deal with broken marriages, fractured dreams, death, brain damage, isolation, envy, frustrated communication - all topics that hardly sound like fodder for interesting stories, but in Meeks' polished hands these topics become the conversation of life in society today. They contain keen humor, pain as well as tenderness, and insights into topics that most other writers consider taboo. There isn't a weak story in the thirteen works here, most having been published in literary magazines prior to this book form. 'Green River' is a family outing that reveals the dissolution of companionship in a few terse pages. 'He's Home' is a quick tale of a man, probably cyclothymic or bipolar, bringing flowers home to his wife only to find she has left him: his response to this lonely discovery explains the probable reasons for her departure. Meeks is able to travel back in time to explore personal idiosyncrasies as in 'The Rotary' and in 'Dear Ma'. In the latter he also manages to take us inside the mind of a failing senile woman (?Alzheimer's victim?) and is written with such finesse and grace that we actually find ourselves thinking in the way Dear Ma's deteriorating mind works. It is a jewel of a story. 'The Fundamentals of Nuclear Dating' is a funny tale that holds a bite and says a lot about our 21st century computer driven dating (read data gathering) consequences. 'Engaging Ben' is as keen an observation of current bonding as any story out there. Et cetera for the rest of the tales. The odd and strangely wonderful and unique aspect of these is not only the fine writing of a terrific wordsmith, it is also the fact that Meeks is asking us or inviting us to look at the darker things in our lives that go bump in the night. Life in Meeks' stories is full of random coincidences that, depending on our state of vulnerability vs our state of awareness, can either uncover hidden pain or turn on a light to illuminate the elected darkness in which we have chosen to live. He peoples his stories with variations of us and our extended family of humanity and turns us inside out, showing us how our microsecond of life on this planet can be a time of significance or inadvertently squandered. Biting and sassy, eloquent and intelligent, this collection of short stories is excellent reading. Meeks knows his craft: these tiny microcosms of living offer proof that his novels, soon to come, will be works to watch. Very Highly Recommended. Grady Harp

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2006

    Middle Aged Man and the Sea

    Christopher Meeks bounces onto the literary scene as a vibrant new voice filled with talent and imagination. THE MIDDLE-AGED MAN & THE SEA is one of the finer collection of short stories that will rapidly rise to the top to of the heap of a battery of fine writers of this difficult medium. Meeks writes about all the little bumps and stumbling blocks we all face in our contemporary journey through life. His stories deal with broken marriages, fractured dreams, death, brain damage, isolation, envy, frustrated communication - all topics that hardly sound like fodder for interesting stories, but in Meeks' polished hands these topics become the conversation of life in society today. They contain keen humor, pain as well as tenderness, and insights into topics that most other writers consider taboo. There isn't a weak story in the thirteen works here, most having been published in literary magazines prior to this book form. 'Green River' is a family outing that reveals the dissolution of companionship in a few terse pages. 'He's Home' is a quick tale of a man, probably cyclothymic or bipolar, bringing flowers home to his wife only to find she has left him: his response to this lonely discovery explains the probable reasons for her departure. Meeks is able to travel back in time to explore personal idiosyncrasies as in 'The Rotary' and in 'Dear Ma'. In the latter he also manages to take us inside the mind of a failing senile woman (?Alzheimer's victim?) and is written with such finesse and grace that we actually find ourselves thinking in the way Dear Ma's deteriorating mind works. It is a jewel of a story. 'The Fundamentals of Nuclear Dating' is a funny tale that holds a bite and says a lot about our 21st century computer driven dating (read data gathering) consequences. 'Engaging Ben' is as keen an observation of current bonding as any story out there. Et cetera for the rest of the tales. The odd and strangely wonderful and unique aspect of these is not only the fine writing of a terrific wordsmith, it is also the fact that Meeks is asking us or inviting us to look at the darker things in our lives that go bump in the night. Life in Meeks' stories is full of random coincidences that, depending on our state of vulnerability vs our state of awareness, can either uncover hidden pain or turn on a light to illuminate the elected darkness in which we have chosen to live. He peoples his stories with variations of us and our extended family of humanity and turns us inside out, showing us how our microsecond of life on this planet can be a time of significance or inadvertently squandered. Biting and sassy, eloquent and intelligent, this collection of short stories is excellent reading. Meeks knows his craft: these tiny microcosms of living offer proof that his novels, soon to come, will be works to watch. Very Highly Recommended. Grady Harp

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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