End of the Road- A Short Story Collection, Collected by Jacques Antoine- An Anthology Review

End of the Road

Follow us into the fog and prepare for some intriguing writing.
Follow us into the fog and prepare for some intriguing writing. | Source

This comes well recommended!

While anthologies and short story collections remain popular among readers, the bar has raised some with these collections finding theming a smart way to proceed, and this reader agrees with the idea. Sure, anyone can agree to a collection of short stories written by one or more writers, but there's something entertaining about going in with some hint to the genre and theme. With this collection, it isn't difficult to ascertain what the theme is and where it goes. And ironically, it’s inviting.

The end of the road can be the end of one's days, the loss of options, or even an undeniable twist of fate. Sometimes, the end of the road isn't the end. Often, it can be a gateway to a new chapter in one's life. So, this collection offers a wide array of wondrous stories from numerous directions and writers, bringing the reader plenty of reading enjoyment and food for thought.

It shouldn't be too surprising that some of these are horrific to a point, but the horror is not as common as some might suppose. Rather, many of these stories glimpse into futures hitherto unexpected by the characters, prompted by great drama. There is some delving into the paranormal realm while some are ripped from the headlines. There are examples of crime drama and there are those of an apocalyptic stature. But if there's one aspect tying these various stories together, it would be the writing quality.

Each story is written well by the author. Of course there were a few stories I liked most of all, but it proved clear quickly that there would be no issue of roughing through some tripe to gain the rewards. Every one of the thirty three tales was ripe with talent, imagination and quality penmanship. Sure, we have our monsters, ET's addicted to silly love songs, psychos, ghosts and zombies, but we have real human drama, raw emotion, and gripping prose brought to us by these writers, all of which were gathered by Jacque Antoine. Exactly who this is I don't know, but he has a story amongst the others as well as ample contact information to help find his other work. In fact, there are short bios and links for all of these good people. So, this is just the beginning of the road for some exquisite writing. Are you smitten already? This is on Smashwords and is, wait for it, absolutely free!

For those readers out there who are unsure of such collections, consider this- with anthologies written by one talented artist, we may have exquisite talent, but just one flavor of it. These collections of several writers provide a new surprise with every story. Then, with some of these collections being themed, we aren't forced to trudge through genres not to our liking. My friends, the bar has been raised. So, for those readers who truly enjoy the shorter reading (such as on lunch break, waiting at the dentist, while the dog is being groomed, etc.), this is exactly what you're looking for. But this particularly attractive collection draws us in because we all know, one way or another, we have to face the fact that our road will end. Actually, we traverse several roads as we live our lives and they all must end eventually. How fun it is to come to a crossroads or perhaps a T and then have to decide which way. Oh, but is it fun or is it terrifying?

After all, we've all traversed these roads. This humble writer has ended up on some rough and dusty roads, some that led to darkness and some that led to wondrous splendor. Sometimes I wish I had a map, but then I wonder what I might have chosen if choices were to be had. But overall, I recognize I have few if any regrets as I recognize different roads would only lead me away from those I love on this road. So, how do these other writers feel? Are their dreams, hopes and fears built into these tales, offering a glimpse into such active psyche?

I hope so. I hope with everything in me at least a few of them lick the steel of the barrel, at least occasionally. I would relish in knowing several of them laugh and love with theirs, but I do so take pleasure in those who pass on their suffering. They pepper life with more meaning and demonstrate those who have it good call it good for a reason. Well, if none of these writers have scars on their wrists and throats, at least some of the characters do. It will have to do for now.

But I recognize not all readers come just for the blood and lurid behavior. Some desire the meaning of their God's will and want hope to be more than just a lingering torment of man. Thus, there are tales in here for you. For example, many Floridians and visitors of Florida know of the Senator (an ancient tree lost to a moron). I met this golden ensign once, albeit so briefly. Thus, it touches me some to recognize how so many of us run the same roads and rarely acknowledge it. But as you will read, this Senator touched another quite differently.

Find your favorite story in here. The ones that resonate with you most, least, rarely and often. Be entertained by clever imaginations and so much food for thought. Savor the flicker of a notion you never entertained, but will soon never forget. The cover features a single soul wandering along a trail lined with trees but with the forward direction cloaked with fog and mist. Follow me, if you will, into the fog. Let's peer into what we can see, with the occasional body lying there or perhaps someone holding themselves tight while rocking and staring blankly into the mist. Hear the screams in the distance as well as the grinding of goblin teeth and alien technology.

Come on, now. This is going to be fun.

Roddy J Dryer is the author of Tangled in Climbing Nightshade and The Egocentric Predicament.

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