Monday, November 18, 2013

Review: You Are Here

You Are Here: Romville Stories 
by Joe Boland 


The Romville Stories in You Are Here by Joe Boland combine universal insights into human character, humor, and a distinctive, noir writing style that pulls you in and keeps you reading even when you want to turn out the light and go to sleep.

A short passage from “This Story”, the first in the collection, shows Mr. Boland’s wit and style: 

Her name was Mora. I misspelled it “Maura” in my first Valentine’s Day card to her resulting in a huge fight, which should have clued me in to her temperament a little bit at least. But being in love is kind of like spraying yourself in the eyes with Mace in that it hurts a lot and impairs your vision badly. And it ain’t cheap either. I met her in church (which just goes to show you there is no place free from peril) at my cousin’s wedding. She was sort of a friend of the bride’s sister-in-law’s brother or some such thing. I wound up dancing with her a bunch of times and she smiled and smiled till her face inhabited my mind the way a needletip burns itself into a junkie’s skin.


If I had to describe You Are Here in one word, I would say it had to be real. First of all, as the reader probably knows by now, I love short stories. (Yeah, I am going to try that short story a day thing again in December. I know, I know...) So, I mean, this book already had my interest. Second of all, I love when authors can make me care (in one way or another) about characters in a short story. I mean, think about it - you're given only so much time to really invest yourself in this idea, this character. It's fantastic.

But anyway, like I said, these short stories involve characters and situations that feel real. They aren't glossy and sweet, but rather dark and unapologetic. However, just like real life, Boland has found a way to intertwine the grittiness of real life with the tenderness of human emotion.


If the reader enjoys a glimpse into other lives and not necessarily the fairy tale, then the reader will definitely enjoy this story!

About the Author

Joe Boland Biography Joe Boland, pretender to a lovely throne, was born on the side of a hill in Danbury, CT, quite a long while ago. 

He spent a great deal of time in cow-lots and cellars, building houses of cards at his grandfather’s careless Canadian feet, and avoiding anything resembling Work, which he is allergic to (he has a doctor’s note).

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