Sunday, May 24, 2009


Author: Michael Lister
Copyright 2008
Release date September 20, 2008
Pottersville Press, Panama City, Florida
ISBN 978-1-888146-20-2
218 pages

Desperation is a small town in North Florida for 3,636 poor souls. ANOTHER QUIET NIGHT IN DESPERATION is a collection of intertwining stories about the residents of this town. The inhabitants all seem to have one thing in common, that is their own desperation about their lives. The collection could definitely be considered noir fiction.

What is shocking about each story is how Michael Lister seems to envision how frail and delicate each hardened character is. He actually takes a character and quickly allows you to view him or her as they would seem to outsiders, but with each one he shows a side of the person that is vulnerable and has a need to heal. There is a constant battle between the tenderness and the hardness of each person.

One of the stories entails helping someone cover up a murder while getting that same person to become the logical murderer. Each one has some type of unpredicted twist that actually makes you stop reading, reflect on what just happened in your mind, and judge if the right choice was made or if there was a choice.

These are the type of stories that leave you thinking and wondering after you have put the book down. They haunt you with their realistic lives. The characters actually seem to be real people and real events.

This is not a book you want your teenagers to read. It is definitely “adult” in nature and explicit in places. However, those sections are needed in reinforcing the hardness within each story.

These stories reminded me of episodes of “The Twilight Zone” and “The Outer Limits”. Depressing as it sounds, my complaint about this collection is that it ended. I was enjoying the intermixing of the stories and the characters and could have contentedly read a continuation with the backgrounds and the lives of the characters.

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