Publisher: White Whisker Books (May, 2020)
Category: Short Stories, Literary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Relationships
ISBN: Coming Soon
Available in: Print & ebook, 238 Pages
In The Benefits of Breathing, his third collection of short stories, Christopher Meeks dives again into the human condition, particularly within relationships. As one reader wrote on Amazon, “Some authors need a lot of words to describe their worlds and their people. Christopher Meeks says a lot with a little.” The Los Angeles Times has called his stories “poignant and wise.”
In this volume, “A Dog Story” captures a crumbled marriage and the love of a dog named Scrappy. “Joni Paredes” shows the birth of a new relationship that starts at a daughter’s wedding. “Nestor by the Numbers” follows one man’s often hilarious online dating experiences after he finally accepts his wife is gone. “Jerry with a Twist” shows an actor on an audition while his pregnant girlfriend helps him through a crisis. These and seven other stories will bring you into the special world of Meeks.
As reviewer Grady Harp notes, if you’ve previously “discovered the idiosyncrasies of Meeks’ writing style and content, rest assured that this new collection not only will not disappoint, but also it will provide further proof that we have a superior writer of the genre in our presence.” Try this book. You’ll have a lot to think about.
I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I had read A Death in Las Vegas and gave it 5 stars, so I was looking forward to reading something else by Christopher Meeks.
The Benefits of Breathing is a collection of short stories about relationships, lost love, divorce, and finding new love. Some of the stories are longer than others, some of them I didn’t care much for (but I’m a romantic at heart), and some I enjoyed and connected to. I like Christopher Meeks’ writing style so, even if I didn’t like how a story ended, it still flowed with the rest of the stories.
We, as human beings, are pretty messed up. That shows clearly in these stories. I want happy endings, but we don’t always get those. I don’t want to go into specifics and ruin anything, but some of the stories have sad endings but some are happy. One even tickled me in a macabre sort of way.
If you’re a fan of short stories, I’m sure you’ll enjoy The Benefits of Breathing. The people and situations in it are so realistic, that even those who aren’t big fans of short stories may find these interesting and thought-provoking.
Praise for Benefits of Breathing
“Chris Meeks is a descriptive writer whose style paints a clear picture of everyday real life traumas. This story is about ordinary people and common problems; including how effective communication is so difficult to cultivate, especially when working through an emotional situation like a divorce. The reader can easily sense the strain of the failing relationship.”-T.M.S., Amazon
“Thoroughly enjoyed this short but bittersweet divorce story. It’s impossible to read anything Chris writes and fail to see pieces of yourself in the lines. Hope you keep them coming, Chris!”- Ksinteriors, Amazon
“I’ve read much of Meeks’ work. His attention to detail and ability to show rather than tell is unique and engaging.”-Kevin Gerard, Amazon
“While James Joyce was a trailblazer in the genre of literary fiction, Meeks surpasses him with crisp plainspoken prose abundant with brilliant humor and wit. Chris Meeks is one of those rare prolific and masterful writers whose stories and novels leave his audiences with a sense of satisfaction and enriching views of the human condition and humanity.”- James V Jordan, Amazon
Awards and Recognition
Book of the Year Bronze Award from ForeWord Reviews (2017): ‘The Chords of War’
ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Finalist award (2011)- ‘Love At Absolute Zero’
Three book critics’ Ten Best Books of 2011-‘Love At Absolute Zero’
Three book critics’ Ten Best Books of 2009- ‘The Brightest Moon of the Century’
About the Author
Award winning author, Christopher Meeks has five novels and two collections of short fiction published. The Benefits of Breathing’ is his third collection of short stories.
He has had stories published in several literary journals, and they have been included in the collections “Months and Seasons” and “The Middle-Aged Man and the Sea.” Mr. Meeks has had three full-length plays mounted in Los Angeles, and one, “Who Lives?” had been nominated for five Ovation Awards, Los Angeles’ top theatre prize.
Mr. Meeks teaches English and fiction writing at Santa Monica College, and Children’s Literature at the Art Center College of Design. He lives in Pasadena, CA.
Website at: www.chrismeeks.com
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