4 out of 4 stars
Review by AA1495
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Impressions by Dan Groat is a collection of 55 short stories, each with a unique idea or message. Most stories begin with seemingly routine everyday activities, which later take unusual turns. The themes of the stories are varied. These include philosophical conversations, carefully planned crimes, forming and rekindling of relationships and human emotions. Most stories describe different forms of human relationships or human nature. While some stories show the value of friendship, some describe the bond between humans and their pets. Relationships with parents and grandparents are recurring themes in the book.
While some stories are barely a page long, some last for over five pages. However, each story, irrespective of its length and genre, will either surprise you or inspire you. For most stories, just when I thought that the plot was getting familiar, that I knew how it would end, there was one sentence or one dialogue at the very end, that changed my perspective about the entire story.
While I liked almost every story, three stories were my favorite. The first one dealt with a man’s OCD. The man was trying to use his OCD to his advantage, by being obsessed with making himself a better person. This story is told from his neighbor’s perspective. However, it was the ending of this book that surprised me. Without giving away any spoilers, I can say that this was one ending I wouldn’t have ever guessed.
The second story dealt with the sensitive topic of discrimination. I liked how the message was conveyed in the form of a simple story. The protagonist of this story is a young student, whose dialogues, in particular, were very powerful. Finally, the third story I loved was about two neighbors, Carl and Peter, who couldn’t stop fighting. When they didn’t have major issues to fight about, they would fight about very minor ones. This story was unique, had an unexpected ending and an element of humor in it.
The beauty of this book lies in its simplicity. The author hardly describes the characters and yet you can connect with them – with almost each one of them. What I liked best about the stories, without a doubt, were the endings. They’ll surprise you even when you’re mentally prepared for a surprise.
The only issue I had with this book was its editing. I found a few grammatical errors. While these were minor, they did interrupt my flow of reading. Further, while this could be an issue with my kindle edition, the formatting was inconsistent. The font style and size kept changing from chapter to chapter, which was distracting.
I would rate the book 4 out of 4 stars. All the stories are unique and very well written. Some will inspire the reader, while some will leave them laughing. Almost everyone will enjoy these stories, irrespective of their genre preferences. There is some mature content in this book and hence, I will recommend this book to adults who are looking for meaningful short stories to read.
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