Dying Light And Other Stories Kindle ☆ And Other

The common theme that runs through this new collection of short stories from Donald Hays is people at moments of crisis in their lives They run from the title story where the main character has come to see himself as a failure as a painter and as a husband and attempts to come to terms with himself by moving in with his dying father a tough sometimes brutally honest man to the comic story Private Dance where a high school football coach who never understands what is happening to him loses his wife and his job punches a policeman and gets arrested in a sleazy strip club in the course of a day and two raucous nights Each story touches upon what it is to be human and the choices and decisions that we all must face again and again


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    An uneven collection not bad mind you and incredibly great in places but uneven Ackerman in Eden sets itself up with a conceit that goes nowhere Orphans stops before it really gets going but would not work as a novella either Private Dance is entertaining but ultimately feels like an attempt to elevate smut to literature and The Rapist while a compelling picture of the vilest of crimes just leaves you feeling unsatisfiedBut four of the stories are simply breathtaking The opening story The Rites of Love is an incredibly moving picture of the ambiguities of romance and what we owe those we love and how defining who it is we love and why we love them is the messiest and most difficult of all human decisions The story's dinner scene is one of the most beautifully and erotically romantic moments I've read and the closing image just sears itself into your mind not to be forgotten Material is a nuanced and exceptionally well told story about storytelling itself illustrating how the very act of creating art is itself a perhaps violent action this seems to be a fairly consistent theme throughout the collection and Hayes thus feels like a poor man's James Salter Redemption is both disgusting and incredibly human and Dying Light is a truly moving and beautiful portrait of a marriage a family a father and son and how we often don't and perhaps can't understand each other until the very endThese stories are thus both incredibly beautiful and incredibly upsetting and vile often simultaneously Which is I think the result of Hayes' use of sex both the most beautiful and the most violent disgusting thing human beings do These are stories then of individuals facing a choice between the beautiful and the vile and their very human inability to often do anything to move from one to the other Hayes's talents as a humorous writer are not on display here and this colors the entire collection with a darkness that makes the stories often overlap run into each other But on the whole despite some problems with differentiation between certain stories despite a few that fall flat there are three or four absolutely golden stories here especially the opening and closing ones For those alone this book is worth your time