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Pacific Sun and Other Stories by Cris Markos
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Pacific Sun and Other Stories

by Cris Markos

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Cris Markos writes reasonably well, in mostly crisp prose with efficient sentence structures, and he has an ear for authentic dialogue. The stories in his debut collection are bleak and gritty. This quality feels put on, as if he is writing to impress an MFA workshop, and not with an eye toward authenticity or depth. His stories feel like they belong in glossy men's magazines.

Misery for misery's sake as a plot propulsion device is tiresome. Rohinton Mistry can get away with this in A Fine Balance, but the technique is exhausting in the hands of even the most capable authors. In the work of an unestablished author, such as Markos, it feels cheap and lazy. The briefness of the short story form also works against the trope. If there is nothing to leaven the story, the emotional wallop of the miserable ending is lessened.

Pacific Sun will feel like a well-done debut if you're the right audience; for me, it was a skim.

(This review is based on a non-ARC e-book received from the publisher, so comments about editing are applicable.)

NB: This review originally was entered on LT on 3/4/14 and was reentered, without edits, on 8/16/16. ( )
  LibraryPerilous | Aug 16, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Pacific Sun and Other Stories is a collection of non sugar coated, real life, real world experiences. Markos writes from the perspective of characters involved in not so happy endings. If you are looking for a quick read and a collection of stories which may leave a bitter taste in your mouth, I recommend this book. It is not a feel good beach novel as the title and cover may suggest. ( )
  Mustela.gulo | Oct 20, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Pacific Sun is an excellent collection of short stories. All of the stories are written in the first person, and Markos does a remarkable job altering the writing to make all of the narrators equally believable. I highly recommend this collection for anyone looking for a high-quality, varied anthology. ( )
  Hil07 | Oct 19, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Dark, gritty, realism. Don't come here looking for happy endings. The stories deal with depressing topics, but the writing is crisp and concise. The author does a good job of bringing the characters to life and showing the way they cope with the harsh lives they've been handed. ( )
  BREEZYWRITER | Oct 4, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Quite readable short stories about very different persons in very different circumstances. All the protagonists are dropouts - in one way or the other. In all: Cheap entertainment for your brain, maybe the right stuff for a transatlantic flight... ( )
  viennamax | Sep 28, 2013 |
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In this haunting collection, Cris Markos explores the extremes of the human experience: from genocide and human trafficking to poverty and terminal illness. From Bosnia to Kentucky, these stories inflect the best and worst of the human psyche.
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In this haunting collection, Cris Markos explores the extremes of the human experience: from genocide and human trafficking to poverty and terminal illness. From Bosnia to Kentucky, these stories inflect the best and worst of the human psyche.

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