Author: Eli Thorpe


ISBN: 978-1-4327-8334-1

The Weight of Deeds by Eli Thorpe is a collection of intriquing short stories written in a  lovely lyrical style about thought provoking themes. A couple of the stories are set in an urban bar run by a character named Rafe. Although the author requests readers in his author’s note to read each of  the stories in this collection separately, Last Chance  and No Questions could be read together to compare and contrast the thoughts on what we should and should not want to know about our friends.

Some of these stories let us into worlds we might not otherwise be exposed to and others may resonate with familiar experience such as the first story, Emily, that flashes back to a character being bullied at school. Either way, once you’ve read a story, you will remember the characters therein as if you’d known them in real life. And these stories expand our concepts of “real” life to include after death experience and the experience of conferring with ghosts who seem real. This is a kind of magical realist writing that lifts the veil between dreamlike visions and consensual reality and merges all of it in a convincing combination of poetic observation, and gritty realistic dialogue. The voices in the conversations that bridge and  carry the narratives  are both idiosyncratic and authentic. And the author paints pictures with his words, describing both urban and rural locations with exquisite detail. In one story, The Tree,  he describes a young boy’s merging with a tall tree such that a reader can feel each movement of the breeze, each flutter of the leaves:

Aaron gazed up at the leaves fluttering green on blue in the summer breeze that washed over him, mind wandering vaguely from one topic to another, thinking of nothing in particular Brown-grey and rough, the five strong trunks of the ancient Maple swept upward about him, forming an uneven star of which he occupied the center. It was cool here, much cooler than the day passing around him.  He shifted his position, putting his head against one trunk and aligning his arms and legs with the others so that he became gigantic, a part of the tree itself. The idea brought the ghost of a smile to his lips, but fled almost as soon as it appeared. It was not a day for smiling, few were, but this one especially not.”  (p.25 )

This is a collection in which each story will be your favorite story until you read the next one. Each one is beautifully written, meaningful and moving.


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