Home Reader posts 4-star review of ‘Ridin’ the Pine’ ebook by Chris Graham
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Reader posts 4-star review of ‘Ridin’ the Pine’ ebook by Chris Graham

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pineBy John Waybright

Chris Graham’s trio of short stories, “Ridin’ the Pine”, might be looked at like a failed sandwich: two slices of good bread surrounding a messy, funny-tasting middle.

The first story, “Let’s Play Two,” is a bright, brief and witty experience of a Little League baseball game. It has all the elements of a good short story — rapid character development, economic use of dialog and a surprise ending. It reflects a genuine talent for telling a tale.

The second story, “Park and Ride,” is the mushy middle of this generally excellent concoction. It’s too long. It’s too full of cliches. It lacks plot. It misuses a quote from Thomas Wolfe. (Tom Wolfe, the modern American writer who was a “snazzy dresser”, is no relation to Thomas Wolfe,the American novelist who wrote “You Can’t Go Home Again.” They are two distinct personalities). The insertion of a little Valentine story among the less-than-tragic story of the author’s love life is an obvious ploy to fill up space. Like those writers who find very, very unique ways to stretch out their extremely vapid prose.

But wait! The third story, “The Contest”, redeems the writer. It’s a hilarious resonance of the Clinton fiasco along with other idiotic and fun-filled adventures. I love it.

Indeed, it was like one of those deli sandwiches with excellent choices of rye toast surrounding a burger with way too much thousand island dressing.

Overall, four star.

Read review online or get a copy.

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Contributors

Have a guest column, letter to the editor, story idea or a news tip? Email editor Chris Graham at [email protected]. Subscribe to AFP podcasts on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPandora and YouTube.

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