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Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
Six Stories Up by Kregg P.J. Jorgenson is actually a captivating collection of five very short stories and one short novella. I cannot remember enjoying a collection as engaging as this one in a long time. What makes it so good is the realistic characterization, easy-going dialogue loaded with subtle nuances, brief but clever plots, whimsical humor, and the surprise twists and turns at the endings of each story.
In the first story you will meet none other than Ernest Hemingway suffering from writer’s block...imagine that...and finding inspiration after watching a bit of a scoundrel friend dupe none other than Picasso. The venerable Hemingway, along with a number of other famous writers, surfaces again in the fourth story, the novella. This is an utterly mind-blowing tale about a forger who makes a fortune with his remarkable skill in reproducing the signatures of renowned authors on unsigned originals. That story would make a rib-tickling movie.
The funniest story of the lot is the third one, a very fishy tale. Like the protagonist, I didn’t see the ending coming and burst out laughing at the surprise twist and my own lack of foresight! The fifth story about a group of women with a novel way to teach cheating men a lesson is a giggle, but such is not the case with the second and last stories. These two touch our hearts and reach into the depths of our souls. The last one about an accountant guilty of embezzlement has an unusual plotline but a universal message about true love. You might shed a tear or two as this beautiful final story unfolds.
Some might think of short stories as easy to write in comparison to a novel, but fact is, they are actually harder as you have less time to fully engage readers and make the time they give you worth their attention. Kregg PJ. Jorgenson has mastered the art of writing a great short story. If you’re interested in writing short stories, read Six Stories Up, but if all you want to do is read some good short stories, start with this book.