This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.
This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.
Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite
Twilight in Saigon by Zev Cohen is a mix of short stories and one short novella that covers the whole gamut of human emotions and experiences. If there is one feature that ties these disparate ideas together it is probably the bittersweet nature of the message. Where there is hope and where there is love, there can also be despair and hatred. The nature of the stories, many focused on the travails of people who are displaced or separated from their lives, crosses genres - from the past of World War II in When Darkness is Gone to the painful memories of a Ukrainian Jewish child when the Nazis came town in “Duvid” to the present; revisiting the past that was the Vietnam War in Twilight in Saigon to the distant future in several science fiction stories, such as in Mission Outer Drivonia; and in Death to the Mindcrimes, a play on the North Korean regime, and the fictional ‘Illustrious Guide’, a thinly veiled jibe at the North Korean regime; and in between a collection of the past, the present and the future that is as eclectic and varied as they come.
Not generally a short story reader, I found Twilight in Saigon a completely riveting and absorbing read. Author Zev Cohen has managed to combine the two most important features of a short story into almost all of the narratives in this book; the ability to impart a message or a moral in the story and the skill to engage a reader and have that reader empathize or feel deep emotion with a character in a short time frame. Zev Cohen achieves this magnificently. I particularly loved that the collection often focused on characters who were displaced in some way in their environments, either physically or emotionally. This gave them a vulnerability that resonated with me. In any collection, there are always bound to be one or two stories that touch the reader more than the others. For me, the two stories that hit home the most were the main story, Twilight in Saigon, and Refugee. I particularly enjoyed Twilight in Saigon because of the intensely bittersweet nature of the tale and the knowledge that this story was probably reminiscent of so many soldiers and civilians who were part of the Vietnam War (and other conflicts) and who have been haunted by their experiences there and what they left behind for so very long. Refugee’s appeal was in the understanding that it is not only Palestinians who have been displaced in the long-standing conflict but that the struggle for survival is real for everyone caught up in this conflict. There is genuinely something for everyone in this collection and I can highly recommend it.