Book Review: Pieces Like Pottery by Dan Buri

pieced-like-potteryPieces Like Pottery

by Dan Buri

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Having spent time at #1 on multiple bestseller lists, the first collection of short fiction from Dan Buri, Pieces Like Pottery, announces the arrival of a new American author. In this distinct selection of stories marked by struggle and compassion, Pieces Like Pottery is a powerful examination of the sorrows of life, the strength of character, the steadfast of courage, and the resiliency of love requisite to find redemption.

Filled with graceful insight into the human condition, each linked story presents a tale of loss and love. In Expect Dragons, James Hinri learns that his old high school teacher is dying. Wanting to tell Mr. Smith one last time how much his teaching impacted him, James drives across the country revisiting past encounters with his father’s rejection and the pain of his youth. Disillusioned and losing hope, little did James know that Mr. Smith had one final lesson for him.

In The Gravesite, Lisa and Mike’s marriage hangs in the balance after the disappearance of their only son while backpacking in Thailand. Mike thinks the authorities are right—that Chris fell to his death in a hiking accident—but Lisa has her doubts. Her son was too strong to die this young, and no one can explain to her why new posts continue to appear on her son’s blog.
Twenty-Two looks in on the lives of a dock worker suffering from the guilt of a life not lived and a bartender making the best of each day, even though he can see clearly how his life should have been different. The two find their worlds collide when a past tragedy shockingly connects them.

A collection of nine stories, each exquisitely written and charged with merciful insight into the trials of life, Pieces Like Pottery reminds us of the sorrows we all encounter in life and the kindness we receive, oftentimes from the unlikeliest of places.

 

My Rating:

4 hearts

 

Favorite Quotes:

Her tears never seemed to fade in the last year.  There was a permanent quality to her sorrow that failed to grow weary.

 

Religion and faith are full of abnormalities and paradoxes.  Faith is to be respected, maybe the most respected.  It’s the idea, though, that I need to conform to see the world the way he sees it in order to really live life.  I can’t wrap my head around how small-minded this is… I prefer to believe in a world that is much bigger than one size fits all. I simply can’t see how violence and death in an effort to push the agenda of any particular religion, is the answer.    

 

Better educated people were paid a lot of money for the services he performed daily, but without a Ph.D. he was simply a bartender.

 

Find meaning each day, James.  Without meaning, we’re lost.  Without meaning, we become bored, or complacent, or depressed, or lonely.  Meaning is the key to happiness.

 

My Review:

 

I rarely read anthologies or short stories, much less a collection of short stories, so I struggled some with the practice and at times with some of the stories, but I will freely admit that I also sobbed during others.  Each thought-provoking tale featured a heartbreaking history and/or current sorrow, with the message to each being it was how the individuals’ handled their own situations.  The writing was ever observant, insightful, and melancholy.  Some of the stories were interconnected, and that was like finding an Easter egg.  I initially thought my favorite was going to be Twenty-Two, a tale about a bartender and patron; it had put a lump in my throat.  However, it was later bested, by far, by the story titled Expect Dragons, a tale of a man called back to visit his elderly and dying teacher. This one stung my eyes and constricted my throat several times before I finally broke into a sob.  Mr. Smith’s 40 tips for College and Life was pure genius. In addition to all that, Mr. Smith taught me how to make a perfect Arnold Palmer, for which I will remain eternally grateful.

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About the Author

dan-buriDan Buri’s first collection of short fiction, Pieces Like Pottery, is an exploration of heartbreak and has spent time at #1 on multiple bestseller lists, including for inspirational short stories and inspirational fiction. The writing is uniquely heartfelt and explores the depths of the human struggle and the human search for meaning in life.

Mr. Buri’s non-fiction works have been distributed online and in print, including publications in Pundit Press, Tree, Summit Avenue Review, and TC Huddle. The defunct and very well regarded Buris On The Couch, was a He-Says/She-Says blog musing on the ups and downs of marriage with his wife.

Mr. Buri is an active attorney in the Pacific Northwest and has been recognized by Intellectual Asset Magazine as one of the World’s Top 300 Intellectual Property Strategists every year since 2010. He lives in Oregon with his wife and two-year-old daughter.

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