on Oct. 30, 2016 :
In this collection, Steve Atkinson proves himself to be a complete master of the short story, not only through his accomplished writing style but also in his choice of themes and subjects.
The immediacy and completeness of characters is something that a writer of short stories must achieve if a reader’s interest is to be caught, held, and the story remembered; and character definition in Atkinson’s stories is remarkably deep and rounded. These are people who easily could be found among the living, but Atkinson takes the points of essential reference and description to render his players equally alive on the written page.
Even the most minor of accompanying characters is vivid and strong, and faultlessly takes their small part in framing and interpreting the many storylines which Atkinson follows, ranging through the full gamut of human experience, from the darkness of the tormented soul to a child's brilliant happiness.
The narratives unfold at a carefully studied pace. Nothing is hurried nor pushed along too quickly. The author controls the reader’s desire to know where the action is leading through the precise handling and fascination of the immediate moment. Atkinson’s tales are not objects for skim reading.
Each of the stories in this collection ends with that moment of dénouement or revelation when final understanding is achieved. This is the technique which sets the fully skilled short story writer apart from aspirants in the genre, and it identifies this book as one for very serious consideration by any reader looking for a good story, excellently told.
Author Judith Rook
(reviewed the day of purchase)
R J Dent
on Sep. 10, 2014 :
Reflections in a Hubcap — a collection of short stories by Steve Atkinson.
A review by R J Dent.
Steve Atkinson’s Reflections in a Hubcap really is a collection of profound reflections. The twenty-three beautifully-crafted short stories in this collection cover a range of subjects and themes, but the essence of many of these stories is the way that the past impinges on the present; the way that tales that are whimsically autobiographical suddenly become maps of the dark and murky places of the human mind.
Between its covers, Reflections in a Hubcap has something for everyone. It is a carefully-crafted collection that is structured very much like a symphony or a concept album, with a variety of moods and styles cleverly juxtaposed for maximum emotional impact.
There are tales of the unexpected (Cokum, One, Two, Miss a Few, Yellower Than a Buttered ‘Possum in Custard, What’s That You’re Reading); tales of revenge (Tickle Under There, Innocents Abroad, Armed and Dangerous, On the Rocks); tales of wonder (Old Grumpy, Matinee), and tales of malice (Wipe-out!, Shines the Light, A Song for Angels) all told in the crisp, clear prose that is Steve Atkinson’s trademark. The descriptions reveal the author’s love of and delight in the English language.
If you want stories that will surprise, delight, shock, and unsettle, then Reflections in a Hubcap is the perfect book to read.
Reflections in a Hubcap is available at:
Stephen Atkinson, was a Fleet Street reporter on the Daily Mirror in London for 27 years. He has also been a sub-editor, news editor and deputy editor and a writer on a leading American magazine, then based in Florida. He briefly served as a New York correspondent for a major UK title. Now retired, freed from deadlines and editors, he enjoys writing fiction, playing guitar and fishing for mackerel and tin cans from an old boat. He is the author of Ghosts Who Google.
(reviewed 15 days after purchase)