Love, Death, and Other Inconveniences put together by Tobias Wade is a collection of thirty-four unusual depictions of what is stated in the title. Multiple authors contributed to this 381-page collection. Author’s contributions vary in number, some contributed one story, many contributed four. This review is long because I couldn’t help making a comment about each story as I read it. I tried to make sure not to write any spoilers. Some comments are about content, some are about the author’s writing and some are sarcastic. Some comments won’t make sense unless you have read the story. I found all enjoyable; I couldn’t find a waste of time anywhere among the stories.
Most stories are short but in the way they engage the reader the stories take time to read. The last two by P. F. McGail invite reader imagination to the degree that maybe the reader can leave work early to spend time in appreciation of some good writing. I follow Tobias Wade as he offers two short stories per week through his author website and email list. The stories signal a break in my work routine when they arrive.
The variety of stories makes me feel comfortable to give the collection a four-star Amazon rating. This is available on Kindle Unlimited, so I read it as part of my standing ten selection queue at low cost. Or it can be purchased on the Amazon site for USD 2.99 and that is OK; it is worth it. The 34 stories are:
Let Me In Blair Daniels Catie was lucky to have such a caring husband. He didn’t mind getting up in the middle of the night to take care of Riley when Riley woke up crying. He was even willing to sing Riley to sleep. Wait … check that last.
Magnum Opus Jesse Clark People deal with loss in different ways. For those who turn to drugs and alcohol, a portion of them will have only happy memories of those lost. In this almost philosophical but still interesting story, Clark exposes the cruelty of false memories.
A Silver Lining, in the Death of Stars Jesse Clark This is another tale of near death and the images that travel with us. Brian wakes up briefly in the ICU of a local hospital. Whether due to trauma or drugs, he returns frequently to a deep sleep where he can explore his memories. Robin helps him while Brian is in a coma, helps him explore memories, but Rachael helps him with the life-saving measures that might bring him out of a coma. The winner? Read the story.
Worst Day of my Life David Maloney It was the worst day and the best day. How can that be? Read the story to find out.
Sexual Predators David Maloney Are you a monster? You might be. The “lady” in this story may change your perspective.
End with a bang David Maloney It is only polite to pay respects when someone in the family dies. Annie will teach people respect.
Fight me, Fuck me, BURN me David Maloney With Marla the sex was great. The problem was, she would not go home. She had her reasons; she had to make Daniel realize what they were.
Sunset Jake Healey Harrison Samuel gives new meaning to the often heard “You can’t go home again.”
In Love with the Devil’s Wife Tobias Wade This selection has a lot of beautiful, complex descriptive passages. It is easy to get lost in them. Read this one slowly from start to finish to appreciate the language. And, by the way, this story does not end.
Letters from my Dead Wife Tobias Wade She writes to remember but things didn’t quite work out.
Redefining Love Tobias Wade True love was all about need. Jason needed her, and she needed Jason. When she noticed Jason becoming too independent and self-sustaining, she had to make a few adjustments to bring her world back into equilibrium.
I used a dating site once S. H. Cooper Notice the title of this selection: “once.” Now go and read why. A nice social critique for our time.
Arranged Marriage S. H. Cooper Two people who promised to marry each other might have a few problems in their relationship but this was carrying things a bit far.
His Murdered Mistress S. H. Cooper Tabby couldn’t believe that husband Simon could murder anyone. Tabby was right.
Auld Lang Syne S, H, Cooper Another fitting place for “Till Death Do Us Part.”
Forked tongue behind a smile Kyle Alexander Jeff was not a true vegetarian despite the fact he was senior in the produce department.
Mirror Well Rona Mae Don’t investigate the well too closely. You may become one with the well.
My first relationship was my craziest Hayong Bak To understate, Mom does not always know best.
My wife and her baby doll Hayong Bak Dolls and memories get mixed up. The Doll is the more real.
A House Of Only Memories J. P. Carver Some memories stay in your mind forever. Others are just temporarily in the basement.
Mile High Club J. D. McGregor Read the title, assume, and prepare to be surprised.
Vela has a Gift for the World J.D. McGregor The gift will be sent to a server near you.
The Proposition J. D. McGregor Trying to converge two unreconcilable pasts Roger produced a different, unreconcilable present.
The Desert Stars Grant Hinton Cassie went through a lot for Michael. She was a keeper. Michael could take that to the bank. NOTE: This story is masterful in the way it shifts between scenes. It is worth reading for that alone. The content is also superior.
Looking for Love Grant Hinton Sometimes I just can’t resist. My takeaway from this story is “Tinder is the night.” Apologies to anti-punners.
Some Smells Shouldn’t Be Ignored P. Oxford Readers sensitive to the latest in fashion perfume will like this story.
My Boyfriend and I were Taken P. Oxford She was back in civilization, but Sean was still out there. She believed it was Sean. She hoped it was Sean.
Last Room of the Cave Tara A. Devlin Shelley knew all about the secret Johnny carried. She had known it all her life.
Somebody Loves You J. Speziale Stories children write can reveal realities adults cannot see.
Baby Love Leo Bigio A mother’s love and maternal instincts can never completely die.
Always Clean your Sex Doll P. F. McGrail The title to this story is great advice and should have little to do with pizza. But it does.
I Can’t Be Unhaunted P. F, McGail How can you win points in discourse with a ghost? Maybe the conversations can only be deferred for a time.
Tits P. F. McGail This might be the scariest, most disturbing story of the collection. As the reader might deduce from the title, this is a depiction of sexual horror.
The Wages of Sin is Eternal Life P. F. McGail Just like the story above was the scariest of the collection, this is the most philosophical. The best takeaway line is “No one really accepts the fact that their own death will ultimately leave the universe unmarred.” (p. 369).