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4.31  ·  Rating details ·  54 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Legacies of violence and tragedy haunt these thirteen stunning stories from Tara Laskowski, author of Modern Manners for Your Inner Demons. A woman becomes obsessed with her co-worker’s murderer; an investigative reporter with a nose for scandal finds his own life suddenly unraveling; eerie sights in a video baby monitor haunt a new mother. When the unexpected happens, the ...more
Paperback, 238 pages
Published May 1st 2016 by Santa Fe Writers Project
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Jan 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Hell ya, I read this book . It's my daughter and I am dam proud of her. You will love this book! Read it and find out why. Guaranteed you will enjoy. I taught Tara to respect books and she started reading at age four. So she loves writing as much as reading. She and her husband, Art Taylor, who is also a writer, started reading their son when he was just an infant. Can't wait to read the reviews when it comes out. Enjoy!
May 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Derek knows nothing substantial about the guy Hannah fucked. He knows his name and age and how she met him---the douche was renovating their apartment complex's gym. He could do more research but his therapist frowns on this. On the way out of the real estate agent's office he thinks, though, that perhaps once he and Hannah find a place he may make a bitter crack about how they can call Paul in to remodel the place and make it more "homey." He thinks about saying this and it feels to him like u ...more
Jul 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My book blurb: In this debut that resonates, Tara Laskowski’s women and men drift through an imperfect suburbia, much like the disembodied souls who haunt her characters day and night. Laskowski has a natural ability to pen the banal, juxtaposed with the horror that often lurks just outside the light that spills from our windows. She digs into the crevices and corners of everyday lives to find the grit, the dirt, the ghosts—our deepest secrets—then finds a way to turn it all into crystal clear s ...more
Dec 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received this book free from goodreads... great short fiction stories of great execution..maybe a little
Bit of you or people you pass by in ordinary life, but some complication perhaps. Captivating story
Writing. Anxieties, secrets, life, looking inside unexpected circumstances. You might see a bit of
Yourself in here !
Jackie Rogers
Dec 16, 2016 rated it liked it
A very interesting book of short stories. Makes one think as reading the lives of these disfunctional folks. All seem to be caught in a web they aren't happy with. The writer knows how to keep one in the story and waiting for endings only we surmise. Thanks to Goodreads.
David Olimpio
Apr 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
These stories have swirled around in my brain long after I've read them. They are mysterious and haunting, sometimes disturbing, and always perfectly executed. Always about something more than what they seem. As I read one and then another, I kept thinking, OK this one is my favorite.
Dec 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great book! I love the short stories!
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bystanders is an excellent collection of short stories by Tara Laskowski. Each story is a bold slice of life featuring a somewhat dysfunctional person. Perhaps the characters are normal people who find themselves in abnormal situations. The stories are thought provoking tales with the perfect twist.
Could not put it down.
This book was given to me at no cost.
Susan Walker
Dec 12, 2016 rated it liked it
A good book of short stories that will keep the reader interested. Some of the stories can be dark but well worth a read.
Melanie Page
Feb 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Full review at Grab the Lapels!
Frank O'connor
Nov 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a book about relationships. While many of the stories use suspense tropes they are, at their core, concerned with men and women trying to get along. The characters range across class and intellect and it is often the more apparently ‘normal’ people who jump off the page most clearly. Lots of nice details in these stories and some fizzing turns of phrase. A lingering pleasure.
Debra Goldstein
May 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Each story reaches into the soul of its characters. A must read for short story or literary lovers.
Tommy Dean
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Bystanders is not your normal book of literary short stories. These stories are at times frightening, but always illuminating of how we try to survive in a violent, but startlingly beautiful world. Laskowski writes with power and verb, finding those small, specific details that make these characters come alive on the page. Highly recommended to readers who love short stories, who want the deep insight into characters, but who also want the thrill of entering a mysterious and eerie version of the ...more
Virgowriter (Brad Windhauser)
Mar 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
A lot of interesting stories. The first two felt like they didn't click--they were almost there--but something was missing. The rest feature a lot of wounded characters working through their issues. The characters felt genuine, and there are a number of times where you feel like you-re following people rather than reading a shaped story. That's meant as a compliment. A few endings end in interesting places, as if the story was disinterested in presenting a tidy resolution. Always nice to encount ...more
Jun 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Tara Laskowski is a short story master. This collections takes everyday, suburban life and exposes a subtle, creepy underside. Violence touches these stories, but they aren't violent. They're reminiscent of Dan Chaon short stories, but are definitely in their own element. This collection is both for lovers of great short fiction any anyone who loves looking for the odd in the everyday. Love this book.
May 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
What an excellent collection of stories! Stand outs include "The Monitor," "The Cat Sitter," "Entrapment," and "Support." I'm looking forward to reading more of Tara's work.
Sam Belacqua
rated it it was amazing
Mar 17, 2016
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Jul 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Jen Michalski
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Jun 14, 2016
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Mar 15, 2016
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Jesse Russell
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Tara Laskowski grew up in Northeastern Pennsylvania and now navigates traffic in the Washington, D.C. suburbs. She is the author of Modern Manners For Your Inner Demons (Matter Press 2012) and the forthcoming Bystanders (Santa Fe Writers Project 2016). Her fiction has been published in the Norton anthology Flash Fiction International, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Mag ...more
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