Six Stories Up

Tales of Whimsy, Imagination, and Hey, a Little Satisfying Comeuppance

Fiction - Short Story/Novela
160 Pages
Reviewed on 10/12/2020
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Author Biography

Kregg P.J. Jorgenson is the author of DO BOMB DOGS DREAM OF CHASING BUTTERFLIES, the Civil War epic CLUBS ARE TRUMPS-THE ROAD FROM PLUM RUN, THE NEXT MIRAGE, CHASING ROMEO-THE JUNGLE WAR, and the award winning international best-seller, Acceptable Loss. He lives in the Pacific Northwest.

    Book Review

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.

Astrid Iustulin

As the title implies, Six Stories Up is a collection of short tales by Kregg P. J. Jorgenson. Written with wit and propensity towards unexpected endings, Six Stories Up is a funny and entertaining book. The stories are set in different times and feature the most diverse characters: Ernest Hemingway finds inspiration in Paris in An Accidental Muse; The Doppelganger War presents memories of the Vietnam War and an incredible old lady; a seagull literally has the last word in More Than Believing; a forger of signatures finds something he would not have imagined in the story In For a Penny; Emotional Loss Prevention tells what could happen during a “personal service” for ladies; and finally, And Sometimes Crime Does Pay reveals that this is not just an expression.

Six Stories Up is the kind of book that every reader with a sense of humor will find irresistible. As I have a soft spot for paradoxes, I enjoyed reading the many turns of events of these six tales. When you start one of Jorgenson's stories, you cannot foresee how it will finish. It so happens that you want to reach the end because you want to know the result and hope to find more jokes and humor. And yet, you have to restrain yourself from rushing because otherwise, you might miss some colorful passage. I think that Jorgenson’s knack for humor and lively dialogues are the strong points of Six Stories Up. This is one of those books with the power to cheer you up if you are in a bad mood.

Jamie Michele

Six Stories Up: Tales of Whimsy, Imagination, and Hey, a Little Satisfying Comeuppance by Kregg P.J. Jorgenson is a compilation of six independent, stand-alone short stories that crisscross the globe, with the occasional crossover of famous characters and cities. The anthology begins with Earnest Hemingway in An Accidental Muse, who also happens to feature (although decades later) as an author whose autograph is being forged in the fourth story, In For a Penny. Stories two and three are set in Seattle, starting with a Vietnam veteran in a fusion restaurant that serves Mexican pho (yes, really!) in The Doppelganger War, and on the Puget Sound with an excitable and gullible fisherman in More Than Believing. The series ends with Emotional Loss Prevention plus And Sometimes Crime Does Pay, rounding out the finale with a woman of the 1% who doesn't like being lied to, and a widower accused of embezzling from Big Pharma who is ready to become part of the 1% himself.

Kregg P.J. Jorgenson delivers Six Stories Up with just the right amount of panache to make these short stories hit the reader in big, fun ways. I'm torn between selecting a favorite, with the top two contenders being Emotional Loss Prevention and In For a Penny. Jorgenson writes with a crisp levity that suits the format, without compromising depth and emotion—particularly in And Sometimes Crime Does Pay—or the light humor found in More Than Believing. I enjoyed this read a great deal and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys bite-sized stories with enough weight to linger on long after they've put the book down.

Deborah Lloyd

This book’s subtitle, describing six short stories, is a fitting name for these entertaining works. Each one is truly imaginative and whimsical in varied ways. From Paris in the 1920s, with Ernest Hemingway as the main character, to the Vietnam War to current-day tales of criminal avarice, this book is engaging from the first page to the last. Although it is not uncommon for a reader to enjoy some short stories in a book while being disappointed by others, this is certainly not the case in this unique tome. Within a few paragraphs of each story, the reader is immediately pulled into the plot, complete with intriguing characters. The endings are often quite unforeseen. In Six Stories Up: Tales of Whimsy, Imagination, and Hey, a Little Satisfying Comeuppance, written by Kregg P. J. Jorgenson, six delightful tales are relayed.

Capturing the essence of complex characters is a skill that talented short story writers have, and this author is very talented indeed. The character of Tom Rayne, in the story In For a Penny, is the most complex character in the book. How the story unfolds, including Tom’s thoughts and questionable choices, add depth to a fascinating tale. The broad range of stories across different eras, countries, and states is also an indicator of the quality of this book. Author Kregg P. J. Jorgenson has crafted an excellent edition of short stories, in Six Stories Up: Tales of Whimsy, Imagination, and Hey, a Little Satisfying Comeuppance. This is truly a gem of a book!