“Slight Details and Random Events”–meeting an author via his writing

Arvin, Eric. “Slight Dreams & Random Events”, Dreamspinner Press, 2007.

Meeting an Author via his Writing

Amos Lassen

I am proud to call Eric Arvin my friend which I find particularly interesting since we have never met face to face. Yet I consider him to be someone I have gotten to know and he is one of the new breed of authors writing gay literature that is to be paid attention to. I met him through his dramatically fascinating first book, “The Rest is Illusion” and marveled at his use of the English language, his spirituality and his ability to incorporate the supernatural into his work. His second book “Subsurdity” introduced me to his wry sense of humor which had me laughing aloud. His new book “Slight Dreams & Random Events” shows me an Eric Arvin that can combine the drama of the first book with the humor of the second book and thereby produce a series of connected short stories that peeks into the psyche of the author. Arvin looks at the mundane aspects of everyday living and breathes a sense of adventure into those things we do on a regular basis.

Arvin has a flair for language as well as a technique of letting us into his life through his writing. We see his life spirit through his deftly drawn characters and it appears to me that the stories included in this volume are personal tales which pulls the reader into them and will not let him go until he closes the covers of the book, Even then, the stories reside in the mind.

If there is a unifying theme of “Slight Details & Random Events” it is the quest and the struggle of finding where one fits into the world. What I found especially appealing about the book is that it allowed me to see from where Arvin’s other works come. The short story “Absurdity on Jasper Lane” is obviously the seed that grew into Arvin’s second book and the setting of his first book, Verona College, is here as well. Those supernatural elements of “The Rest is lllusion” couples with the authors spiritual side in several of the tales. Twenty-five short stories make up the book and intermingled with them are five lovely poems and through each of the selections in the book it becomes easier to know the writer.

I have been accused of writing only positive reviews but let me tell you that this is not at all true. I chose not to share negative opinions in print because I believe that every author needs time to find his place on the literary ladder. Eric Arvin, in my opinion, climbed way up that ladder with his debut book and has remained there. He is a welcome addition to our world and if he keeps up the steam and the passion with which he writes. It seems to me that he will be sitting on the top of that ladder for a long time.

I am not particularly fond of short stories as I find that I never really get involved because of their brevity of length. This is not at all true here. From the moment that I began to read, I was hooked.

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