In association with Pump Up Your Book, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Electricity by Author Christopher P. Ring!
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: December 5, 2014
Format: eBook - 73pages
Kindle - 227 KB
Nook - 446 KB
Genre: Literary / New Adult / Short Stories Collection
Buy The Book:
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Pump Up Your Book.
A teenager wrestles with the meaning of love when his parent’s high-voltage marriage turns deadly. School boys playing chicken with a commuter train, search for answers about life and death. An American teacher working in Peru struggles to reconcile the gap between her idealism and the reality of poverty when an act of kindness leads to a frightening episode. Covert baptisms, duels of love and highway robberies: the coming-of-age stories in Electricity share a vision of America marked by tainted innocence and misguided idealism.
My Book Review:
In Electricity, author Christopher P. Ring weaves an intriguing collection of five coming of age short stories. In each of the stories, the author draws the reader in with a mixture of wit and humor, as the main characters share a common thread of innocence and idealism in their lives.
The five coming of age short stories include:
God Waking Up For Tea - told in the first person by eleven year old Kevin, an Irish altar boy from Rockville Centre, Long Island, who provides the reader with a humorous tale about his Irish heritage and the Irish community in his town, memories of his dead grandfather, and searches for answers about life and death.
Electricity - told in the first person by a fourteen year old boy who witnesses an argument between his parents that turns tragic when his father slices a radio's electric cord and gets electrocuted. The boy wrestles with the meaning and the depth of love, and his overwhelming feeling of shame and guilt for his inability to help his father.
Things Far Away - told in the first person by twenty year old John who along with his friend Fester drop out of college after two years to hit the road on a journey to experience freedom by hitchhiking from Bridgeport, Pennsylvania to meet up with friends in Boulder, Colorado. Their journey will consist of a variety of people (minister, militant vegetarian, salesman) who pick them up along the way, each with a story to tell that will give the young wanderers experiences, and a lesson that to experience true freedom is only through how you deal with the choices that you make along the way.
Family Business - told in the first person by a grandson who talks about making his own way in life after leaving his hometown in Long Island for Afton, Wyoming, and how his grandfather comes to visit him and tries to unsuccessfully entice him to join the family business. He talks about how his grandfather "Pop Pop" had always kept family and business separate, that running his plastic business took precedence, but when his grandfather dies from a heart attack, the grandson realizes too late that his grandfather's visit had actually been an attempt to pass on a gift (message) to him: to make room to embrace family and business.
Everything Simple - told in the third person, this short story follows thirty year old Micah, a sixth grade social studies teacher from Denver, who left the US to live in Huaraz, Peru. Her wanderlust journey to Peru she claims comes from the blood of her dead Peruvian grandmother that runs in her veins. But her journey is wrought with struggles over her misguided idealism and the reality of poverty and danger in Peru.
I found myself easily drawn into each of the characters' intriguing stories, but alas ... as they are only just a snippet of a story, they left me wanting more. I am usually not a fan of short stories, I prefer a full length novel that has a conclusion, but I must say that Electricity did keep me engaged and pondering the author's intended message in each of these coming of age stories.
Christopher P. Ring writes fiction, poetry, children’s stories, travel essays, social commentaries, humor and screen plays. His writing has appeared in numerous regional magazine and small literary journals such as Caldera and The Broken Bridge Review. He received his Master’s Degree in Creative Writing from the University of New Hampshire and taught High School English for several years in the U.S. and abroad. He continues to teach the art storytelling to Elementary school students in Southern Maine, where he resides with his wife (a teacher too) and two children.
Much of his fiction draws on the experiences and discoveries of his life as a “rambler”. Growing up in Long Island, New York, he developed an insatiable thirst to escape the confines of conventional living, spending his twenties and early thirties travelling the globe to off the beaten path places in search of adventure. He has called many regions of the U.S. his home and has also lived in Ireland, the Andes of Colombia, and Vienna, Austria. As with the cultures and places he has visited, the settings in his story shape the events and characters profoundly.
You can learn more about Christopher P. Ring and check out other writing of his at www.mortalsandfools.com. His next book, The Glow, a collection of speculative fiction short stories, will be available in April, 2015.
Electricity Tour Page