Eric Timar’s Book “Tales from the Boiler Room”
Today, I want to highlight another wonderful author who has a collection of fascinating short stories. After having read it, I would certainly recommend others to check it out as well. The book is not overly long and each story can be read in a short amount of time. Many of them will leave you with a smile or a question to ponder. This is the review I posted on Amazon for the book:
“There are a total of eight stories told in ‘Tales from the Boiler Room’. The author shows a rich and detailed knowledge of history and many facets of life through his writing. Profound insights may also be found when the lives of all kinds of people (and other creatures) are explored. Each story is a window that takes the reader into different settings for an interesting variety. At the end of each one, you will be left pondering the true meaning behind it. Due to this being a multi-story work, I am going to rate each one separately below. Before that, though, I want to say that the writing style, imagination, and details provided throughout the book receive five stars from me. They all deserve that. Yet other factors should be considered as well. You will see the star amount I give for them individually next to each title. These are based on entertainment value, so as to give the reader an idea of how enjoyable and compelling I found each story to be.
***Pyramid Spleen- At the time of 200 C.E. in MesoAmerica, a man named Zocul lives a fairly solitary existence. He is somewhat of an intellectual and tends to be too skeptical of his people’s religious practices to fit in. Living on the outskirts of his city does give him one advantage. He has two alien friends, Naquin and Kelago, that secretly visit him upon occasion. This story outlines what happens during one particular visit.
The only problem with this tale is, without any background, it is hard to follow it at first. Later, as things progress, it becomes much more interesting and ends on a nice note.
*****Martinique Passage- Jumping forward to present day for the rest of the stories in the book, this one takes place in the American mid-west. A character named Matt has become the new caretaker of an apartment building. He is enthusiastic about his job, but soon finds it difficult when a cantankerous ghost begins causing problems. It becomes so bad that he must do something soon or lives could be in danger. Only by helping the ghost pass on can they both find peace.
This is an excellent tale and one I thoroughly enjoyed. The way in which Matt handles his problem is not expected and rather unique.
****The Darkened Country- A young woman named Kayselia discovers she has an angel watching over her. After telling her boyfriend Val about it, he begins an investigation to discover what makes angels appear for some people and not others. Everyone he asks has no definite answer, but the end of the story will leave you with something to think about.
****El Centro- Matt is a tutor that helps disadvantaged kids. One teenager in particular, named Pablo, is the center of this tale. During one study session between the two, the reader will discover the difficulties that immigrant kids face in the United States. It will leave you looking at such situations from a new light.
*****The Dogs of War on Drugs- This is a humorous tale told from the perspective of a drug dog working in an airport. It is well told and rather entertaining.
*****Human Capital- Gary is the main character here. He works at a plant nursery where the setting is placed. There are a number of employees he works with, but the big secret is that one of them is a creature of legend. Readers will find this tale to be creative and entertaining. It also contains a rather ironic ending.
***Barberries- This one includes the same characters and setting as seen in “Human Capital” minus the mythological creature. The focus this time is on love and marriage. It is a bit slower but has a sweet ending.
****Law- The narrator of this tale is never named, but he certainly has a story to tell. The setting this time is in MesoAmerica (present day). As can be inferred from the title, it is about law, but also more than that. It begins slow and almost boring as all the reader finds is a discussion of legal paperwork and payments. Yet, all that changes mid-way through when supernatural elements come into play. Then things start to get very interesting. This makes it worth wading through the deceptive first part.
I highly recommend ‘Tales from the Boiler Room’ to anyone who enjoys well written, thought provoking, creative short stories. They are certainly plentiful in this book. Expect anything from the mundane to the supernatural. It is all here.”
For the purpose of this blog’s rating, I give this short story collection four whips!