Hiding out is a weird book – a happy weird book. It makes you want to read more stories like the ones in the book, but in vain! One has to wait for the next Jonathan Messinger to be published. I am a total and huge fan of the short story form. I honestly believe that every living writer should follow and apply the craft of short story writing before venturing to the novel form. In my opinion it only is needed to hone and work on the craft of writing. To make it more lucid and sketch better characters and plots. It is after all not easy to encompass an idea or a thought in four pages and emerge a winner at the end amongst the readers.
Hiding Out by Jonathan Messinger is one such book. It took me a while to get into the book. The way it is written is radically different and a regular reader may take some time to absorb and get familiar with the style. Having said that, once that happens, then it would be very difficult to tear the reader away from the book. The book is about stories centred on people – regular people who are avoiding the consequences of their poor decisions – their unknown errors and now they do not want to face the outcome and trying to connect at the same time, which on one hand is quite ironic and on the other, it is as real as they come.
A jilted lover dresses as a robot to win his ex back. A man builds a time machine to embrace the identity he always denied (This holds true for so many of us). A zoo has a latest addition – a man-eating wolf. A teenager finds the key to everlasting life in a video game. It is as though the characters do not somehow have a life of their own.
Jonathan’s writing is crisp and to the point.
The short stories do not occupy more than three pages and yet as I reader, I wanted to read more of a couple of stories. The rhythm to the writing is easy and does not change. The stories on the other hand will surprise you, make you laugh, cry and shock you as well. The range of emotions will be experienced and will leave you wanting for more. The stories are just more than thought provoking, they just make you reflect on your life at some point as well.