Saturday 31 March 2018



From Shamus Award finalist Max Everhart comes ALL THE DIFFERENT WAYS LOVE CAN FEEL, a collection of stories exploring the complexities of relationships. Whether its a single father who buys a lake house with a dying man still living in it, or a young Red Sox fan who plots to assassinate George Steinbrenner, or a devoted mother who joins the Army Reserves on her thirty-fifth birthday, just before Saddam Hussein invades Kuwait, these eleven stories charm, provoke, and confound. Not to mention examine up close that most conflicted of emotions: love.

An enjoyable short story collection consisting of......

THE MAN WHO WORE NO PANTS...... I initially didn't know what to make of this one so ending up reading it twice. I'm still scratching my head a bit though. Great writing and an interesting cast of characters..........a former Chinese government worker, now an owner of a Mexican restaurant, separated from his wife, looking after their fat son (his weight is being addressed) and buying a lake house from a dying man who won't leave the abode, until he's passed. Other characters include a private detective and a Swedish woman, who dances naked. I could read it another half a dozen times and still be none the wiser. I can't say I didn't enjoy it though.

CRY ON DEMAND .... brotherly love

EVERYWHERE LONELY....... sisterly love

ALL THE DIFFERENT WAYS LOVE CAN FEEL.... baseball and parental support

VIRGINIA IS A DIFFERENT COUNTRY..... a family of three, the independent, strong-willed mother signs up to the Army reserve prior to Saddam and Iraq invading Kuwait, invoking a strong sense of abandonment and anger from the young son, already disappointed and bewildered at his mum's refusal to marry his father.

FIVE O’CLOCK LIGHTNING.... a shared love of baseball and an adult son supporting his father's improbable dream of glory

LOVE BRUISES.... friendship or more, boundaries, fear, disappointment and an impulsive act

NAME-CALLING... baseball and corporate greed

LARCENY BY TRICK... school basketball, public humiliation, a coach who urges our man to never quit

77 LIVES ON THE ROCK RIVER...... a blind storage auction, coping with loneliness, a touch of Ronald Reagan

JUST GUS..... a father and son road trip to college, some moments of awkwardness and tenderness

I won't claim to understand all these stories or whatever message if any the author was trying to convey. I did enjoy them though. Several of them feature the same family at various points in their lives. Maybe some of these are semi-autobiographical in nature.

Tribulations on love, friendship and relationships, with disappointment, anger, concern, support and every other emotion that you've ever felt for your family or friends thrown in. That said I can't say I spotted any forgiveness in the collection.

A few of the stories have baseball as a back-drop and whilst I enjoyed this setting, some of the finer nuances and references eluded me.

A collection that was a bit different from my usual reading, but enjoyable nonetheless.

4 from 5

Max Everhart is the author of the Eli Sharpe PI baseball mysteries and the previously enjoyed Alphabet Land (here).

Max Everhart has his website here.

Read in March, 2018
Published - 2017
Page count - 240
Source - review copy from the author
Format - Kindle


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed this one, Col. It's a bit different to my usual reading, too, but Everhart is a talented writer. I may have to give this one a go.

    1. Another one where I was a bit out of my comfort zone with the baseball references. I did enjoy the collection though.

  2. These stories sound good. I don't need another short story book, but I think I would like this book and the stories about the same family could be really interesting.

    1. I've got a mountain of short stories on the stacks, but I do like them. I just don't find the time to read enough of them. The connecting ones were the ones I probably enjoyed the most.