Tales of Ordinary Sadness

General Fiction, Humor

By NA Randall

Publisher : MA2Books

ABOUT NA Randall

NA Randall
NA Randall is the author of the unpublished novels 'A Red Sky in Morning' and 'The Communization of Delusion', the short story collection 'Tales of Ordinary Sadness', and a volume of poetry 'The Careless Loves of a Casual Nazi.' He currently has no fixed abode. Despite this he maintains a  More...



14 contemporary stories of sadness, viciousness and reclusion

Title: Tales of Ordinary Sadness

Author:  N.A. Randall

Let’s be realistic.  Not everything in life is rainbows, baby bunnies and fairy tale happy endings.  There is a lot of sadness, cruelty and misfortune in the world, which we all experience to a certain degree at some point in our lives.  In Tales of Ordinary Sadness, N.A. Randall chooses not to fall into the commonality of the happy ending, but instead to have the reader contemplate the sadness that many people experience.  To this end, he shocks and startles us with a collection of fourteen stories in which the main characters strive to find happiness, only to be left with sadness and devastation.  We are thrown into a world of vulnerable characters who must survive the effects of violent rape, humiliation, bitterness, sadness, rejection, physical abuse, bullying, and even murder.

To write an effective short story, the author must make the main character particularly memorable and must dive straight into a single conflict or a significant emotional milestone in the person’s life.  Some think that to end the story effectively, the author should have a resolution that leaves the reader with a sense of satisfaction.  However, others believe that the writer of short fiction wants to produce some kind of emotional response from the reader, be it anger, shock, surprise or even happiness.  An abrupt ending with no explanation, for instance, does leave the reader startled and intensely curious.  In each of Randall’s stories, we definitely jump very quickly into a traumatic event in the main character’s life, and each tale races along to a climax after which it abruptly falls off the edge of a cliff.  There was never a resolution or conclusion in any of the stories.  Most of the time I was left thinking:  “what the heck just happened?”  In one sense, I would have preferred a conclusion to each story; however, they certainly did produce an immediate response from me.

If, immediately after reading these stories, I was asked for my response to them in one word, I would have said “random”.  However, Randall is an intriguing writer who kept me entranced from start to finish.  His writing style is bold, intense, disturbing, thought provoking, and very descriptive, with strong imagery. 

Although I found many of the stories disturbing and actually quite depressing, they certainly evoked a curiosity in me that left me pondering life after each story was done.  This collection was certainly a different read for me, and I would recommend it if you wish to explore the realities of human nature in our world today.

N.A. Randall has taken time out from work to concentrate solely on his writing. Besides the short story collection, Tales of Ordinary Sadness, he is the author of the unpublished novels, A Red Sky in Morning and The Communization of Delusion, and a volume of poetry The Careless Loves of a Casual Nazi.

Reviewer:  Cindy Taylor, Allbooks Review.

Title:  Tales of Ordinary Sadness

Author: N.A. Randall

Publisher:  MA2BOOKS

Format: ebook   

                 July, 2010