Bits And Peaces by Mitchell Graye
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Mitchell Graye's Bits and Peaces is a book made up of a series of short stories and essays. For some reason I tell myself that I don't like short stories but every time I read a book composed of them, I'm thrilled. This is no exception.
The first part contains several short stories with ordinary characters leading, if not extraordinary, at least interesting lives. Some are extremely short, just a couple of pages, and each one is creative and written with a great hook. The characters are quirky, imaginative, frustrating, and fully developed given the short time the reader spends with them.
The second part of Bits and Peaces is several stories narrated by an alter ego of the author. Think of it in memoir style. These are Graye's interactions with people at various times throughout his career in the big city business world as well as during his quest to become a published author. Speak No Evil and After All These Years are the highlights of this section, in this reader's opinion.
In the final third of the book we get a dose of non-fiction in a collection of essay-like tales that the author put together to expose the human condition. These are told in snippet form of experiences he had in which he learned lessons in acceptance, judging, relationships, feelings, and the like. The reader finds out how Graye came about some of the people and scenarios and the impact those interactions had on him as a person. That last one is very Stand By Me and brings about the same feelings of loss as I felt when the adult Gordie recounts the lives and death of his friends.
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