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  • By Bookfool Babbler
    Oct 15, 2009
    "Loose Ends: Loads of Down-Home Fun!" Author Les Combs is a friend of a friend. I've read some of his stories, in the past, and enjoyed them. So, when my friend Cindi asked if I'd be willing to read and review the book, I jumped at the chance. And, I was thrilled to find that Les' writing is every bit as terrific as I remembered from past readings. Since the book is a collection of Les Combs' short stories and poems, I'll summarize a few favorites: "Harry B": A reporter assigned to interview a group of devil worshipers invading Arkansas meets with an awkward fate. "Amana from Heaven": A man whose death was caused by a falling refrigerator finds himself in an interesting heavenly predicament. "Tumbleweed": After his wife kicks him out and ends up with most of their possessions, Custis takes off on a hitchhiking journey. When the story opens up, Custis isn't certain whether he's in Kansas or Oklahoma, but he's certainly found trouble. And,... More > trouble follows him wherever he goes. This story is worth the price of the book; it's a riot. "That Woman": A recently widowed man who was happily married for many years finds himself hoodwinked into a second marriage and meekly allows the new wife to alter his life until she goes one step too far. There were quite a few stories that made me smile or chuckle. I love a clever, surprising, smile-inducing story. A book full of them is even better. The characters were a varied lot and I had a few particular favorites, but there's a wide enough variety that they can't be easily described in one paragraph. Better to read the book. If I had to choose a couple of favorites, they'd be trouble-magnet Custis and the widowed Walter. Favorite Quotes: There's a lot of sky over west Texas with not much of interest under it. -- "Tumbleweed" You see, it's all on account of a woman. I never met anyone like her in my whole life, and now she's gone. Walked right out that door over there and left me trying to fix a broke heart by pouring Budweiser on it. -- "Scars" "Irvin had acquired a look of panic surrounded by desperation with a touch of terror." -- The Ceremony A terrific read! I really enjoyed the stories in this book. Poetry is a hard sell for me, so admittedly I paid more attention to the stories than the poems; but, I found the storytelling witty and the author often takes the reader in totally unexpected directions. In general, I think Loose Ends would probably fit into the "Southern Lit" category, as many of the stories are set in Arkansas or thereabouts. Both dialogue and narrative often have what I would term a "down home" Southern influence without falling so heavily into dialect that they become annoying. Definitely recommended. -- Nancy Horner of the book blog Bookfoolery and Babble< Less
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Product Details

Les Combs
February 19, 2008
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.88 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
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