This collection of twenty-four short stories focuses on diverse experiences in small Michigan communities during the second half of the twentieth century. It addresses such topics as racial conflict and harmony, white collar crime, college life, family dynamics, tragedy, aspirations of young athletes, growing up, personal rejection, dishonesty in academia, unusual mentors, less than ethical policemen, class conflict, and career triumphs of a twice unhappily married woman. Michigan’s Polish, Finnish, Irish, Hispanic, and Asian cultures are highlighted. The stories present the human side of life in American small towns from the relative ease of physical entry into these communities to the psychological difficulty of exit.
|Author||Joseph E. Pluta|
|Book Type||Short stories|
If you love Michigan as much as I do, this book is a great place to get your Michigan fix. Love these stories especially the ones involving romance and humor. The author once lived there and I used to as well. What a fond collection of memories in many different small towns. Even if you haven’t been to some of these places, you will relate to what happened there. Definitely a must read!!!!!
The stories in this book are a nice combination of humorous, serious, unpredictable, and mysterious. Characters are a fitting mix of young and old, brilliant and much less so, admirable and detestable. There are heroes, villains, and quite a few in between. Fiction? Yes, but very realistic outcomes. A five star collection of beautiful work!
A relaxing ride into a karma filled world of regular people. A lucid, place-specific trip into what-goes-around-comes-around. Full of believable characters pursuing normal lives, but caught up in what could have been. A real treat for anyone attempting to link past with present; and the treat is that much more fun for a reader with a connection to the Upper Midwest of the United States and/or the lower provinces of Canada. A fun and nostalgic read.
The first 5 stories in “Small Town Michigan Tales” have it all: success and human folly, romance and tragedy, serious issues and humor, but most importantly, characters who relate at many levels. This is an up and coming fiction writer with in-depth story telling ability.
A reader is quickly drawn into the lives of the various people in these short stories. I especially liked the stories because the descriptions are vivid and the dialogue writing natural. The characters are real, and how they interact is interesting. The stories are compelling and not easy to put down.
“Aki Maki” in SMALL TOWN MICHIGAN TALES is the most touching story I have ever read. Wow!!! This writer understands both the Finnish and Japanese cultures. That they could interact in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is astounding, but now believeable.
Many different emotions and circumstances are captured in these stories. There are family crises, ethnic clashes and assimilation, distant memories, serendipity, youthful mischief, romance, and long lasting friendships. My favorite stories are the ones about the highly educated janitor who becomes a mentor to an eventual college professor, the camaraderie in an Irish pub, and the college athletes not quite good enough to make the pros. Many of the plots are unusual in their focus, a fact that is a big plus. Terrific author!