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Stephen Hazlett was born and came of age in New Jersey. He served for three years in the Army Medical Corps, including a year in Vietnam, after which he began a long career as a computer professional in California’s Silicon Valley.
He currently lives in New Mexico’s Land of Enchantment, where he is pursuing the craft of a writer of mainstream and mystery novels.
on Oct. 07, 2013 :
Stephen Hazlett's marvelous collection of short stories, The Irishman & Other Stories, gives voice to memorable characters. Some of the topics are family, love, disappointment, death, surprise and transitions. Something To Do is a haunting story. Middle aged widower, Phil, travels to Italy and by chance meets a young American woman. They make an unlikely pair, but a relationship develops that brings unforeseen outcomes. In the title story, The Irishman, we learn that John Kelly's father has died and amongst his belongings is a letter written fifty years ago from Annie who, judging from the content of the letter, must have been his girlfriend. The letter had been written just prior to John's father's departure from Ireland for America. After reading the letter, John feels he may have a brother or sister he hadn't known about. He travels to Ireland seeking answers. This powerful story illustrates just how strong family identity can be. Montana is a tale about second chances. A woman residing in a nursing home tells her son she wants out and that she wants him to drive her to Montana. She has always wanted to go there. Surprising even himself, her son, his daughter and his mother embark on a trip that yields surprising results.
All the stories are worthy of high praise. The author is a gifted writer who has crafted engaging and original stories.
I received this book for free through Library Thing and I give this review of my own free will.
(reviewed 29 days after purchase)
on Oct. 05, 2013 :
Good writing entertains a reader, great writing goes further than that. It touches you, it makes you feel. That is what this collection did. It made me feel. The characters were so real I felt that I knew them, that I could actually reach out and touch them. One story moved me to tears. I can honestly say that this is one of the best books I've read in a long time. It is one that I think I could read again and again and find something new every single time.
It is a collection I will recommend to all my friends.
(reviewed 29 days after purchase)
on Sep. 11, 2013 :
This is another difficult book for me to rate. The author's writing skills are excellent, fluid and exact; his characters, situations, and themes are utterly real. And therein lies the problem. It seems I'm currently more in a mood for escape than for reality, and at this time these stories simply aren't reaching me.
In no way is this the fault of the author; his book description is spot-on, no false claims involved. And allow me to emphasize that this is an entirely subjective assessment. There's no doubt other readers will not agree. With the author's polished skills, it's easy to imagine others awarding this anthology five stars and buying every book he's written. What makes my funk even worse is, I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review, and this is the best I can currently do.
My thanks to the author for the opportunity to experience his work — and it's an experience, rather than a read, it's that real — and should this escapism funk ever break, I'll revisit these short stories and give them a better, fairer chance.
(reviewed 5 days after purchase)