Tales 2 Inspireā„¢--Beyond Coincidence Reviewed By Gordon Osmond of
Gordon Osmond

Reviewer Gordon Osmond : Gordon is a produced and award-winning playwright and author of: So You Think You Know English--A Guide to English for Those Who Think They Don't Need One, Wet Firecrackers--The Unauthorized Autobiography of Gordon Osmond and his debut novel Slipping on Stardust.

He has reviewed books and stageplays for and for the Bertha Klausner International Literary Agency. He is a graduate of Columbia College and Columbia Law School and practiced law on Wall Street for many years before concentrating on writing fiction and non-fiction. You can find out more about Gordon by clicking HERE

Gordon can also be heard on the Electic Authors Showcase.

By Gordon Osmond
Published on August 6, 2013

Author:Various (compiled by Lois W. Stern)

Publisher:Cricket Cottage Publishing


Author:Various (compiled by Lois W. Stern)

Publisher:Cricket Cottage Publishing


Before being bemused by this book’s rather unusual trademarked title, know that the book is but one aspect of Lois W. Stern’s admirable overall effort to assist writers in their attempts to expose their works to the public. There are websites, Facebook pages and groups, YouTube interviews, and more that would-be authors can explore and exploit to be a part of Ms. Stern’s outstanding outreach to writers, which focuses primarily on authors of short, non-fiction stories.

This particular collection of examples of that genre includes eleven short pieces, all but three of which are contributed by presumed winners of Ms. Stern’s online competitions. Several of them pose the question whether a particular event was the result of coincidence or divine intervention, others on medical miracles similarly attributed to divine origins. Not surprisingly, divine intervention wins every time and many, but certainly not all readers will go along with the result.

Other stories seem more comfortably set in less spiritually-infused environments—someone who adopts needy children from Ethiopia and groups of people who selflessly sacrifice themselves in protecting Jews in Greece from the terrors of the Nazis.

A reader’s reaction to these stories may well turn on the definitional difference between sympathy and empathy. As one who wept like a baby upon the demise of pets, who agonized when one went missing, who relishes every day the affectionate interacting of surviving pets, and yet who was relatively stoic when human family members died, I was greatly moved by the stories about a lost and recovered dog and about affection between elephants. This enchantment did not survive the story of birds and insects becoming carriers of messages from humans from beyond the grave. Also, having experienced cases where adopted children turn out tragically different from the unadopted ones, despite identical environmental upbringings, I was skeptical, particularly when the story turned out to be more an infomercial than a real story. There is a difference between inspire and move. For me, the strongest stories in the collection accomplished the latter.

Each story is presented in a straight forward no-nonsense declarative style. There are few flights of literary fancy, almost as if the spiritual nature of the basic message would suffice, somewhat indifferent to the inspirational potential of language itself. Fortunately, the reader was almost done before “make a difference” appeared.

The book is clearly a part of Ms. Stern’s admirable promotional campaigns. Each chapter includes a Readers Digest-type inspirational message of the day contributed by the book’s illustrator, and the contributors’ totally appropriate biographical details include ways to learn more about them. Overall, the book contains more links than the fence of an antisocial neighbor. This is not to be critical; we live in a world of links, and Ms. Stern clearly knows how to use them.

The editing of the book is acceptable, but not perfect. The few lapses have no impact on the impact of the stories themselves, which, as noted above, depends largely on the orientation, or, perhaps, dare I say it, the sophistication of the reader.

Follow Here To Purchase Tales 2 Inspire: Beyond Coincidence: The Emerald Collection (Volume 1)

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