Thursday, June 19, 2014

Review: "Love Will Make You Drink and Gamble, Stay Out At Night" by Shelly Lowenkopf

Summary (from publisher): Love Will Make You Drink and Gamble, Stay Out at Night brings a number of Shelly Lowenkopf's previously published short stories together in a single volume. All the stories revolve around life in Santa Barbara, the oceanside city north of Los Angeles, where people go after they've burned out in San Francisco and L.A. Yet there's no safe haven anywhere. Interwoven into Santa Barbara's picturesque setting, the people in these twelve stories reveal what their hearts and souls encounter in relationships. Their misreadings, mistakes, and misadventures bare what happens to people who love another.

It has been a long time since I've read a collection of short stories! As I'm sure many other avid readers will admit, I tend to gravitate towards the same genre when choosing a book. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, but every so often I venture out of my comfort zone and I'm pleasantly surprised at what I find. Love Will Make You Drink and Gamble, Stay Out at Night is an interesting collection of short stories written by author Shelly Lowenkopf. All of the stories carry a common theme- love- although the type of love varies from story to story. Lowenkopf focuses on the love of lovers, pets, friends, and even love of the kind of work that you do. I found that connection interesting and it certainly made me think about all of the kinds of love that exist out there.

I have mixed feelings about this collection. Some stories were excellent and they made me reflect on the type of love being written about. In that way the collection was a success. I especially enjoyed a part of one story when the narrator of the story remarks upon an imperfection on his potential lover and how that made her even more attractive to him. I also enjoyed the stories that reflected on the love of a person for a pet. Although I'm only a recent pet owner I'm amazed at the love that I feel for him!

On the other hand I found several of the stories too confusing and abstract for me, even when I went back for a re-read. Some were so bizarre that even though I understood what kind of love Lowenkopf was writing about, I didn't understand the rest of the story at all. Those stories were less enjoyable for me.

I'm glad that I read Love Will Make You Drink and Gamble, Stay Out At Night. It is a unique collection with many enjoyable stories. Even though every story didn't speak to me personally, it was refreshing to read outside of my comfort zone for a little while and I would definitely venture outside of it again without hesitation. My thanks to Premier Virtual Author Book Tours for inviting me along on this tour!

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