Book: The Cats of Savone (The Completely Abridged Series) by David-Michael Harding
|5 stars based on the 3 most helpful Amazon reviews|
David-Michael Hardingabout this book: Writing 101: Writing the Next Great American Novel is a marathon.
Short Stories are the roadwork, preparation, and conditioning.
David-Michael Harding's The Cats of Savone is a literary collection of shorts and novellas compliled from the author's collegiate instruction as he teaches on the Art & Science of Writing.
David-Michael Harding steps away briefly from his publication of historical fiction (How Angels Die and Cherokee Talisman) to compile a wide range of topics in The Cats of Savone (ISBN 978-0-9857285-1-9), the first installment in the new Completely Abridged Series – Short Novels for Busy People. Through the fabric of eight very different stories, Harding presents the discerning reader with tales which purposely shy away from a commonality of locality or characters. By design, the unrelated stories effortlessly glide through genres as examples of what the collegiate instructor calls "newborn novels". As the novelist explains -
"Most novels begin their lives as short stories. Consider Ernest Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea, or John Steinbeck's The Red Pony. Though in their entirety these classics are short in comparison to other works of the masters, each began life as a true short story. Writing, much like any gift, skill, habit, or hope, is strengthened through application, training, and exercise. The short story is the stretching and dedication to a running regime long before the marathon. It is the repetition of scales on the piano, years before the recital."
The title story is the PEN International Award Winner, The Cats of Savone, which follows a pregnant cat beneath a mammoth steel gate into the exercise yard of the Savone Correctional Facility. The hardened convicts in the maximum security prison adopt the cat as much as she adopts them. But an accident in the prison leads to murder and a host of tough choices for tough men.
Black Men in Bright Blue traces the steps of ten-year-old Rachel Justice in 1864 while she explores her father's plantation in South Carolina. As she learns of slavery beneath the shadow of the Civil War, her secret knowledge of the underground railroad pushes her family and her young mind into decisions none are ready for. Eavesdrop on the captain and crew in Forever Beneath the Celtic Sea as the story follows in the cold wake of the World War I German submarine the U-20, and its deadly encounter with the luxury passenger liner Lusitania in 1917.
The History of West Texas According to Henry Brass sits beside the bed of a of a old soldier, trapper, and patriot who is dying from consumption. He hasn't lost his sense of humor however as he relates story after story to a young man who cares for him in his last days. Then move from West Texas in the 19th Century to another continent and another time in St. Alden's where a classic fight between good and evil comes to life on a university campus. An aged Guardian of the campus needs to pass down the secrets of a mysterious silver and the power of goodness to his grandson before night demons put an end to a magical spring and its unique life giving water.
Additional stories provide glimpses into the life of a man who has gone through a lifetime of labels – retarded in the 50's, handicapped in the 70's, and now with special needs – Jonny Archer finds himself on an unlikely trip in The Junket. The Jazz Bridge chronicles the history and anniversary of an ordinary bridge in an ordinary town as something extraordinary happens. The collection is rounded out by My Boo Radley and the high school baseball pitcher who learns lessons from an old fan who the world viewed as a monster.
For fans of the author, these shorts and novellas are glimpses into the stories, talents, and passion his characters are layered in. Readers care about the people in a Harding story. You'll cheer, jeer, laugh, cry, and then VOTE for the one that becomes the next full length NOVEL!
Read, enjoy, and VOTE at www.DavidMichaelHarding.com
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