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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
An anthology of thirteen short stories that transcend time, The Inquisition and Other Stories by Michael Tabor gives you a taste of the best that the genre has to offer. Historical, romantic, and mysterious are just a few of the themes and experiences that you will encounter in this collection. Travel back in time to meet the renowned painter Nicolas Poussin as he records the events in his youth for the sake of posterity. A narrator examines the familiar phrases of love in the verses of John Keats in connection with the poet’s famous love letters to Fanny. An engineer dabbles in rigorous self-examination as he becomes a prisoner in a unique form of solitary confinement. A playwright finds a metaphor in cancer within himself and in the oppressive Stalinist regime. These are among the moving stories in this collection that will create lasting impressions.
As a fiction writer, Michael Tabor takes his craft seriously. A reader who first developed a love for short stories before the novel, I find Tabor’s short tales as complete worlds where you can immerse yourself in his dedication to exploring limited time and space. I enjoyed digesting these stories slowly, the way you need to chew your food well to better absorb nutrients. I was immediately drawn to how he handles Poussin in a first-person POV, as he makes the painter so sharp in his recollection of his youth and the events that compelled him to write about himself. Precision in short stories requires thorough knowledge of characters to effectively detail episodes in their lives, and Tabor has handled this so well that he has made them even larger than life. I absolutely enjoyed reading The Inquisition and Other Stories. If you believe that the novel is a more ambitious genre than its shorter cousin, this book will prove you wrong.