Saturday, October 17, 2009

Book Review: Never Hit by Lightning, Edited by Tucker Lieberman and Andrew Tivey

Never Hit by Lightning, Edited by Tucker Lieberman and Andrew Tivey

Paperback, 76 pages
Rating (1 to 5 *): *****


It’s not often that I review or even read anthologies, but I seem to always be pleasantly surprised when I do read one. Never Hit by Lightning, edited by Tucker Lieberman and Andrew Tivey, is yet another example of that phenomenon. Though small, it is filled with literary, thought-provoking pieces.

Each of the stories and poems in Never Hit by Lightning is beautifully written.

There’s the title piece, Lightning, written by Kirsty Olliffe, which is about the narrator’s friendship with a boy who has been hit by lightning over and over—in fact, he seeks it and gains strength and vitality from it.

In King of the Cocktails, by Loree Westron, three brothers—particularly Rick—seek to carry on their dead father’s legacy as a master bartender. They struggle with the balance between duty and finding their own way.

High Tide, by Piotr Wesolowski, is the final journey of a sick old man to the sea he loves, piloted by his doting son. Taking place in Cuba, they skirt the law and various hardships to find simple joy.

At the Hospital, by Abigail W. Stevens, is the thoughts of a child whose brother is in the hospital—giving the reader some insight on the effect a sick child has on his siblings.

In The Man who Invented Everything: A Deathbed Confessional, by Mark Robinson, the narrator is chronicling the life of a dying patient. This patient claims to have invented everything, but the credit always went to someone else. However, maybe he is not entirely off his rocker.

A Reason to Go On, by Daniela I. Norris shows us how sometimes what we need more than someone helping us is to help someone else. By saving another, we save ourselves.

There are also three poems in the book: Hallowed Earth, by Gillian Pencavel, which is about the ravages of war. larynx, head, neck, stomach, bladder, kidney, oesophagus and pancreas, by Russell D. Thomas, is a seemingly nonsensical account of life working in a hospital—a place that is nonsensical itself. Finally, Death of a Friend, by Sue Harper, shows in just a few words what it is like to lose a friend.

Editors Tucker Lieberman and Andrew Tivey have assembled a beautiful, eclectic collection of work. Light some candles, pour yourself a glass of wine and snuggle up with your favorite quilt for an hour or two of thoughtful reading.

Check back tomorrow for an interview with the editors!

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