No Home in this World
by Kevin Crowe
Brendan Gisby, Editor:
“I’m a strong advocate of the short story as a literary form. Indeed, I’ve penned many of them, I’ve published seven collections of them, and for eight years I ran McStorytellers, a website dedicated to showcasing the work of Scottish-connected short story writers, including the work of the author. When I read these latest tales of his, I truly wished that McStorytellers was still operating so that I could have had the pleasure of publishing them on the site.
As a gay man “of a certain age”, Kevin Crowe knows a lot about the cruelties and injustices that have been and continue to be inflicted by this world. Those cruelties and injustices are reflected in many of the stories. There’s blatant intolerance in No Home In This World (the aptly chosen title of the collection); abject despair in The Roots of Their Raising; a terrible miscarriage of justice in No Smoke Without Fire; and overwhelming sadness in Texan Condoms. There are no happy endings in these stories.
But it’s not all bleakness. We see the world redeeming itself in Moonlight Sonata and having the last laugh in The Dinner.
All in all, a fine collection that is worthy of your attention.”
This is a collection of six short stories and at just 68 pages, this book won’t take you a long time to get through, but these stories aren’t really suitable for binging. Instead, each one gives you something to think about and I found that reading one here and there made for a much more powerful read.
The stories cover some difficult subjects, for example ‘No Smoke without Fire’ features a man accused of something truly terrible that he’s adamantly not guilty of and ‘Texan Condoms’ addresses AIDs in a reflection of those who have had their lives cut short by the disease.
Don’t let these themes put you off though, they are thought-provoking rather than bleak and give you the chance to think about things that you likely don’t usually put a lot of thought into.
A couple of the stories see some positivity and light in the world, including my favourite of the collection ‘Moonlight Sonata’, a heart-warming tale in the face of grief and sadness.
“The thought of life without my Mary was almost unbearable. I couldn’t comprehend how such a wonderful, beautiful and loving woman could have her life extinguished in a moment.”
Plus, I can’t end this review without mentioning how good the cover of this book is! Check it out in my post on Instagram!
Overall rating: “No Home in this World” is a collection of thought-provoking short stories that looks injustices in the world from a number of angles. If you’re a fan of short stories, I’d recommend you give this a try. Read them slowly so you have enough time to truly take it all in. It’s 4 stars from me!
Thank you to Fly on the Wall Press for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.