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Reviewed by A. L. Peevey for Readers' Favorite
Many of us enjoy a set of stories that can be enjoyed as brief, standalone visits to other places and times. Author Theodore Jerome Cohen has written such a set of tales in Mementos: A Unique Collection of Short Stories & Flash Fiction, and with almost forty stories to choose from, there is at least one story for just about any reader. They certainly do vary in theme and location, both in time and space. One “unique” feature of this collection of stories is that each is accompanied by a photo that was used as the prompt for the composition of the story. In Ashley’s Revenge, readers witness a series of “romantic” encounters but its ending will bring a chuckle or a gasp. Cynthia introduces a tryst of chance with tragic consequences; Road to Autumn is a sound bite of a story with a famous crooner talking about “serendipity” and songs; Farewell to a Friend is a poignant commentary on a friendship, mostly by correspondence, and how time can still a favorite voice.
Theodore Jerome Cohen is a fine writer. It is difficult to give Mementos complete justice here. The stories are imaginative and complex while still being very readable, even when rendered in the nonstandard dialects of some of the characters. This collection of stories will certainly be one that readers can browse through by title when wanting something to read without having to invest attention and patience in a series of books, particularly if one has just enough time to read a short story or piece of flash fiction. There is an art to creating such quick stories, and this author has mastered it and, indeed, has a talent for it. If readers enjoy this collection, there is more to look forward to because this particular volume is the first of several. Also included in this book is a list of other published works by this author, so if readers want more, they are definitely available.