4 out of 4 stars
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Far From Mars: Nine Creative Nonfiction Stories Featuring People and Places in Champaign-Urbana by Sal Nudo is a non-fictional book about ordinary people. Before each story, Sal Nudo writes a short blurb about how that particular story came about. You will read about companionship, inspiration, joy, alcoholism, drug abuse, and faith, to name a few. Each of these stories is about routine events in the individual's life and is revealed as a unique and special event that is very inspirational. You will read how events, no matter how big or small, can make a huge difference in one's life.
This book has many positive aspects. The one I appreciate the most deals with emotions. I was reading along feeling sad about a particular person's life and then came across a descriptive phrase like "runny egg yolk on toast," and I burst out laughing. There is a personalized picture within each story that demonstrates the fact that this book is about real people. Sal Nudo's descriptions of the demographics and the characters allowed me to visualize the characters and their surroundings in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Each of the independent stories "Dog Devotion," "Born to Cook," "Sam's Hobby," "Peace Through Pieces," "A Soldier of the 'Blues'," "Cassette Comeback," "Rage for a Reason," "A Night Out at 217 Float … Far Away From Mars," and "The Man Who Lives to Help" is unique and can be read alone.
The only negative aspect of this book is Sal Nudo's descriptive introduction in the book. He went into so much detail about the book that it made it very difficult for me to write a summary without repeating something he had already said. After all, there is only so much you can reveal about a 72-page book without letting a spoiler slip out.
A professional editor has done an exceptional job editing this book. All of the plots flow smoothly, are well written, and are free of errors. I enjoyed reading every one of the short stories. For these reasons, I gladly give this book 4 out of 4 stars. There is no reason to consider giving this book fewer stars.
I recommend this book to adult readers who enjoy reading inspirational stories about people who could be one of their neighbors or friends. The stories about alcohol and drug abuse are not appropriate for younger readers. Sensitive readers need to be aware there is one instance of non-borderline profanity that they may find offensive.
Far From Mars
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