Simon A. Smith's Reviews > Hiding Out

Hiding Out by Jonathan Messinger
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's review
Nov 28, 07

bookshelves: books-by-people-i-know, favorites, short-fiction, chicago
Read in November, 2007

The publishing of this book is an occasion to celebrate. There are many wonderfully sincere, humbling moments in each of these stories. Many of them involve characters stuck in dream worlds filled with obstacles they struggle to overcome during waking life. Rich, seductive things happen to these characters, magical things, moments charged with wonder and compassion, originality and most notably, honesty.

Perhaps the greatest achievement here is the balancing act Messinger manages to pull off. He's like a skillful boxer, socking you upside the head with genuine, tender drama while simultaneously working your body with real moments of humor and levity. Part of his charm lies in his ability to inspect life's inequalities and contradictions without flinching. This is an author with the censor switch turned off and that's the best kind. His readers will benefit from all of his candidness and imagination. We get glimpses into the lives of some of the most refreshing characters to grace the page in quite some time. Don’t dip a toe first (he didn’t), plunge headfirst into Messinger's pool of outcasts, ghosts, wiseacres and heartbreakers… you won't be sorry.
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Jonathan Wow, thanks man. This review pretty much made my month.

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