Friday, June 4, 2021

✱✱Book Review✱✱ Love Like Bleeding Out with an Empty Gun in Your Hand: Poems and Stories by Stephen J. Golds

 

An aging hitman is embittered by his career choice at the point of no return. A shell-shocked soldier in World War Two finds hope through death, reflected in the eyes of his enemy. A serial killer confesses in veiled, lurching prose. A mobster unravels at the zero hour of this mortal coil. A man reevaluates existence after discovering a suicide. These are some of the twenty-nine dark, twisted, and gritty stories by Stephen J. Golds collected here for the first time — bound taut with thirty poems of loss, love, and other thoughts that haunt you after last call.



Momma Says: 4 stars⭐⭐⭐⭐

It takes a special talent to write short stories effectively. To me, that means having the ability to grab the reader with a sentence or two. I mean, really, when your story is only a few pages, you're gonna have to be quick if you want to grab and hold on. Stephen Golds does that brilliantly, story after story. He even gives us characters that are developed. That's not to say I wouldn't like to know more about a lot of them, but I was invested enough to care what happened. Usually, I start a book like this and read one or two stories over a cup of coffee or at bedtime until I come to the end. I didn't do that here. Nope, I started reading and liked what I found well enough to keep right on going. Before I knew it, I was through all the short stories and I came to the poetry. I'm not gonna lie, I was really dreading the poetry. Seriously, you can take everything I know about poetry and put it in a lunch sack, shake it up, and there's still plenty of room left over. (If I'm dating myself with that line, just pretend I'm not and move on.) The point is poetry and I just don't mesh. I've never much enjoyed it, so I usually just steer clear. Anyhow, I decided that I liked the short stories well enough to warrant a look at the poetry. What I found wasn't bad at all. That's not to say I'm suddenly a fan of the art, but Golds' poetry does leave me avoiding it less. These poems made sense to me. In the end, I'd still prefer the short stories to the poetry, but that's just my personal preference. Poetry fan or not, if you like crime fiction, these short stories are a good bet, and you just might find that the poetry is well worth the read as well. I know I did. 



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