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A Pig in the Rumble Seat by Edward Hujsak
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A Pig in the Rumble Seat

by Edward Hujsak

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A Pig In The Rumble Seat by Edward Hujsak is an extraordinarily written book that simply put, is just never the same from page to page. Each story has it's own style, taste, genre & thought process; from the "Sci-Fi" style first story of Goodbye Charley to the final short story of A Visit With Oliphant there is never a repeat of style or really, even genre. The book is like taking a break from the real world, to find yourself engulfed with a potpourri of styles & genres all wrapped into one delightful package!

When I first began reading the book the first short story immediately yelled "Sci-Fi" with a touch of eclectic character. As I finished the first story and moved onto the next, I realized that this author's style is not one of typical character. The ability to appeal to a vast diversion of readers is amazing. The memoir style stories hold the attention of the reader with a "manly" style of writing that makes sure he doesn't fall short of keeping his "own kind" entertained. A touch of more technical, engineering information is weaved into the stories of his memoir style short stories, just enough to make women continue to read for the final outcome while, my guess is, men hold on tight to the ins and outs of the various information that runs amuck in the authors ingenious mind! The ability to combine to two is simply quite amazing for most any author indeed!

The various settings of each story keep the reader intrigued. We move from outer space to the beautiful surroundings of Vermont and the New England states with ease. Each story bringing with it a new and intriguing tale, whether it be of fiction of fact - future or past.

The memoirs tend to be my favorite portions of the book. While I enjoy the authors exceptional way of telling a tale, especially those of "outer space" and futuristic oddities, I found great comfort in his own tales of the past recollecting times with friends from his younger days. The tale of the author and his friend traveling through the darkness of "the middle of nowhere" after a wondrous visit with his friend & family makes one chuckle at the simplicity of days gone by. A simple break of a fan belt back then was no big deal, yet in the world of today we know a single issue with a car can mean hundreds of dollars in new computer chips. Yet this same author has a sense of futuristic intricacy that is above and beyond the average and exemplifies it with his stories of Lazarus the "treasure hunter" from the planet Tilsen & Ydek the "creator" of "mankind" in a sense in his own orbital world as he plays games with life as if it were a game; which, to him it was more or less.

You simply won't get bored with this array of tales... from the obscure to the quaint & reminiscent. The simplicity of the idea of "Short Stories" is enhanced by the complexity of the diversity of the author himself & his styles of writing.

This book is definitely one that will keep any reader intrigued, page after page... but each time for an entirely different reason. ( )
  hockeygal4ever | Oct 26, 2009 |
This book is a compilation of 24 short stories that range from 4 - 27 pages. The story topics are almost as wide ranged as the page numbers, it includes brief glimpses of the life of the author. Some stories are based on days of his youth during the 1930’s, some include his years working in his chosen field of chemical engineering, working on rocketry propulsions. There are some fantasy or science fiction stories to add to the collection as well as a segment of poetry.

With the average length of each story only 12 pages, this book is quick, easy and fun to read. I have even spent some time reading some of the stories aloud to my family and have suggested a few more. I found a couple of the stories to be overly influenced by technical information (which to some it would be very informative and interesting), but for me I much preferred the fiction and some of the youth memories. The added influence and knowledge of rocket design gives Mr. Hujsak a very special take on science fiction. Some of the recollections of a young boy growing up in New Hampshire are antidotal to the terrible aspects of the Great Depression era. The memory of cars, trucks and other machines are a great timeline of events to some people, Mr. Hujsak is no exception, and while I have no knowledge of what a Federal, a Reo or even a ‘35 Ford Roadster really looks like, the descriptions are good enough to enjoy the stories. As with any short story, the hope is to have enough information given in a way that is easy to follow and understand while still being entertaining. There are a several stories that surpass this, giving just the right amount of information and at the right time to be very enjoyable. If I had to pick just one story out of this book to call a favorite, I would have to go for the light, easy, fun of the science fiction story ‘The Toy’. Changes the way to look at a Martian landing, from just a ‘another mission failure’ to a possibility - maybe. ( )
  onyx95 | Oct 23, 2009 |
I absolutely loved this book! Thank goodness I don't have to choose a favorite story, I would be hard pressed to do so. All in all, a delightful collection that includes poetry, memoirs of the author's life ranging from tales during the depression to space rocket launches, his work developing the Atlas and Centaur, some fascinating science fiction and even contemporary tales.

Mr. Hujsak has a way with words and language that gives the reader the impression of being on the scene for each tale. I found some of them sad, some touching, some laugh out loud funny. In fact, I even read the titular story out loud to my husband, and we both laughed throughout. Perhaps a more glowing recommendation would be that my husband, a total non-reader, actually read several of the stories and enjoyed them. In fact, the book is on his bedside table. He actually plans to read more of it; without me twisting his arm or using other methods of force.

I think we are fortunate indeed, that this talented fellow has chosen to share his stories and memories with all of us. There is truly something for everyone in this book. ( )
  crazypsychobooklover | Aug 30, 2009 |
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