Publisher: Bittersweet Editions
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The editor’s note of this compilation states that they ‘searched for stories and images that thrived independently, by their own definitions – islands of unique brilliance.’ Upon finishing In The Night Count The Stars, I can attest to the fact that the various works presented here definitely meet these criteria. This anthology consists of not only stories, but poems, images and even micro-fiction.
There are almost as many pictures in this work as stories, and each of them stands out vividly, a brand of its own. The only common thread between all these works is that they all represent glimpses of the human condition at its most vulnerable, whether it be heartbreak, death, crime, dealing with the decline of a loved one or cancer.
The poem from which the title is drawn, Tale on a Slow Moving Freight by Jack Micheline, was definitely the theme running through the book and personally, was the highlight of this work. The sheer range and diversity of contributors and works in this collection infuse it with a certain freshness and unique flavor that is difficult to recapture. Kudos to the editor, Marco North, for the smooth transition between the various pieces.
To give you a taste of what to expect from this collection, sample this two-line story by Melissa Wiley:
She attended a wedding the day her divorce was legalized. She didn’t bother with trying to catch the bouquet, but ate a large piece of cake with a blue frosted rose on top.
My personal picks from this lot were the golden macaroni, Deliberation, Stars and an excerpt from One Wish Left. Look out for the startling images too, especially the pinhole ones. A rare treasure indeed, in these days of Instagram and filters!
There’s definitely a lot of underappreciated talent to be found within the pages of this anthology; if you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, something to tease your neurons and rekindle your wonder at the beauty and simplicity of the human condition, try this one out.