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Interference & Other Stories


New River Press
May 7, 2014

Book Details

Interference & Other Stories of characters who express their feelings in a variety of ideas, thoughts and questions.
Hoffman's writing makes us consider and question our own position on each subject covered in the book.
The novel explores death, yearning, understanding and curiosity. We read about a police man who is still hurting from his son's death but is trying to move on by marrying his girlfriend. We learn about another man who is a recovered alcoholic and keeps busy by working in his car shop and being an advisor for a guy who is part of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Additional stories are about a father and his son leaving the grocery store and a woman speaking to a marine over lunch asking questions about joining and what it is like.
One story that I could relate to is "Sundown Jesus." A young man, Geory, goes to visit his uncle in a nursing home. When Geory gets there a doctor speaks with him about giving his uncle medication for his depression. Geory prefers to see his uncle first before giving permission. During his visit Geory finds that his uncle is ready to die. Other readers might find it easy to relate to because they may have elderly friends in nursing homes.
The story that I found most compelling was "The Wrong Sunday." It starts out with a young boy, Marty, sleeping with a rosary. Instead of going to his parent's room after a bad dream he prays. When his family is getting ready for church, Marty is told that his grandfather has died. Marty's father does not handle this well and this sight hurts Marty. Marty starts to believe that his grandfather died because of a bad dream and is afraid that this can happen to him. The story is sad but opens our minds by looking into a topic that many children might think of. It also creates us as readers to revisit our bad dreams.
Between these short stories there are short snip-bits about a guy. A guy who goes into a therapists office, a barbershop, a guy looking for work, one with a story and a guy going to heaven. The therapist one is humorous and makes you open your eyes, others convey a deep thought that might bore your mind.
Overall, the best short story is the last story, "Interference." Hoffman examines the natural fights and frustration between family members as well as the need and crave for something that is so close. You'll read the ending at least three times, questioning what happened.

Author Description

Richard Hoffman is author of the award-winning Half the House: A Memoir, and the poetry collections Without Paradise and Gold Star Road, which was awarded the Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize and won the New England Poetry Club's 2009 Sheila Motton Award for the best book of poetry published in the past two years. His writing, both prose and verse, has appeared in Agni, Ascent, Harvard Review, Hudson Review, Poetry, Post Road, Witness, and elsewhere. He has been awarded several fellowships and prizes, most recently a Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship in fiction, and The Literary Review's Charles Angoff Prize. He is Writer-in-Residence at Emerson College in Boston and also teaches in the Stonecrest MFA Program at the University of Southern Maine.

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