Abracadabra Moonshine And Other Stories [Kindle Edition]
Stephen Halpert (Author)
Digital List Price: $4.95
Length: 181 pages
I’m not sure what I was expecting, but whatever it was, this was different. In fact, Abracadabra Moonshine is unlike anything else I’ve ever read. These quirky stories are fairy tales, but not aimed at children. These are designed to intrigue a mature adult sensibility. I don’t mean mature in the sense that the stories are rife with sex and violence, but rather that characters have logged some time on earth and gained some perspective from the experience.
The stories are charming, witty and clever with unpredictable endings. There’s a little something for everyone … a perfect book for bedtime. If you live in or around Boston, you’ll enjoy the local settings, too. My favorite, Abracadabra Moonshine (in two parts, non contiguous) made me ponder whether or not I should start going to more craft shows. Maybe check out the leather goods.
The stories are mostly quite short, some a bit too short for me. I am a fast reader and occasionally found myself at the end before I had entirely absorbed the beginning. Rereading solved the problem. The longer tales were more satisfying for me, but I still wanted more. I found myself waiting for the other shoe to drop, literarily speaking. The brevity was surely an intentional choice on the author’s part. There is nothing wrong with the stories or their endings. I just prefer longer form literature and always have. Recently I have I begun to read short story collections and I am in the process of readjusting my reading speed to suit the medium. That’s not easy after a lifetime of flying through books.
On the up side … and it is a very big up side … the stories are perfect bedtime stories. A single tale was just right for reading in its entirety as I was preparing to drift into dreamland. The subject matter was captivating, but not ugly or disturbing. I read a lot of fantasy, much of it violent and sometimes ugly. It was a treat to have an opportunity to dig into stories that were interesting and creative, but not gory or grim. I do not mean every tale has a “happily ever after” ending. Not at all. But at worst, characters get what they deserve. No one is tortured or dismembered.
The writing is elegant, the twists and turns of the plots are clever. The dialogue is believable. It’s a delicious book for grown up children on their way to sleep. If you have never lost your fondness for fairy tales, these will remind you of the stories of your childhood, but set in the modern world. I plan to reread the entire book again. Abracadabra Moonshine is too good to read just once.
It is available from Amazon.com in Kindle format. Enjoy!