The Other Side by E. Thomas Finan

The Other Side by E. Thomas Finan
Published by The Fieldnor Press
Review copy provided by the publicist

The Other Side is a slim but powerful book of short stories from first-time author E. Thomas Finan. These stories have a wide range of characters and major plot points, but they all have one thing in common and that is the exploration of what it is to be human. These stories explore our connections with other people and our introspection within ourselves when things in life do not go our way.

I am always up for some short stories (I like to read them slowly, in little chunks) and when The Other Side was offered to me for review I couldn’t pass it up. The book is tiny – only 112 pages in total – yet it is powerful. The stories in this collection made me think and caused me to feel a connection with the people in them, even though I only encountered each character for a short period of time.

When I compare The Other Side to other short story collections I’ve read, I must admit it’s not my absolute favorite, but I did enjoy it so I would say it falls somewhere in the middle. Given the fact that this is Finan’s first hand at writing a book, I’d say that’s pretty good. The stories did form a cohesive book and they were written in such a way that I could really sink in and enjoy them.

My favorite story in this collection would have to be “Dunes Like White Elephants” which features a couple having a discussion about an important change they are about to make in their lives. The specifics of what exactly they are discussing is not revealed, but the reader can get a good idea of what the event is by their conversation. What I love about this story is how much is said in so few words. From a conversation by two unnamed people, Finan reveals so much about their characters, and in just SIX pages! Amazing.

I would recommend The Other Side if you enjoy reading short stories. It is a good collection from a promising new voice in fiction.