by Tony Chapelle
What a treat! Here is a book of twenty-five short stories to satisfy the appetites of a wide range of readers. Please don’t read them all at once, however tempting that might seem. They deserve to be savoured. They need to sink in; they need respect and consideration; they need space for thoughts to linger.
The stories reveal Tony Chapelle to be a man with versatile writing talents and a generous understanding of the human condition. He clearly knows about music and art and literature, but allows their influence to remain subtle, undemanding. His characters are people we know, or might know if we could see past the drawn curtains of their lives. They are people we might not want to know, but who nevertheless engage our attention. They are people who harbour secrets, who live on the edge, or who have been affected by circumstances or events that change them. They are people whose lives may not be like ours, but who excite our interest, inspire our sympathy or make us aware of matters outside our experience.
The subject matter is everyday and therefore accessible, but always finely observed and sometimes with a twist. They nearly always begin arrestingly. That is, Chapelle has a knack for the interest-grabbing opening that draws the reader in and holds the attention for what follows. And although the stories are about things that may be familiar to us, they are far from humdrum. Here are holidays at the beach, neighbours, the mistakes people make and regret, events from the past that rise up to haunt us – and of course families. Always fertile areas for stories, families of all kinds are caught at some significant point and observed as events unfold.
The moods change too; sometimes sensual, sometimes ominous or enigmatic but always appropriate. There may be undercurrents. It is not surprising that Chapelle has an impressive list of credentials, and has won or been placed in many competitions. His work has been published in a variety of magazines and newspapers and broadcast on the radio. This is a fine collection of stories that can hardly fail to entertain, by a man who has a deft way with words.
Author: Tony Chapelle
Publisher: Rangitawa Publishing
Available: Amazon, Rangitawa Publishing, Bruce McKenzie Booksellers