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Reviewed by Tania Staley for Readers' Favorite
Nine Lives by Dave Dumanis is an intriguing concept collection of short stories. In Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the character Paul Varjak is a writer who hasn’t successfully written anything for years. His last published work was a collection of vignettes entitled Nine Lives. Dumanis’s book is an imagining of what that collection may have been like. It is an intriguing premise that should spark interest in fans of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and fans shouldn’t be disappointed in the imagining.
Dave Dumanis’s book was enjoyable, and I was excited by the unique inspiration for this collection. I would love to see Dumanis create similar works by other famous fictional authors. Readers should be warned that this is not a feel-good collection of stories. In fact, most of the stories are quite dark and some are rather sad. I would urge readers not to be deterred by this fact, however, because there is a lot about this collection to be admired, and it would be a shame not to read it. The tales within are relatively quick reads, but pack a mighty punch. The stories have a subtle amount of magical realism within, so that the events feel just slightly askew of reality without creating disbelief in the reader.
It is also apparent that Dumanis has gone to great lengths to make it believable that Paul Varjak could have written this book. The stories deal with themes that fit the time frame Varjak would have written in -— speculation on the moon landing, segregation, and fears of the Cold War are just a few that could be named. I hope to get the chance to read more by Dave Dumanis, and I recommend this collection for fans and scholars of short fiction.