My old friend Bob Thurber, the winner of numerous literary awards, is on a roll. In 2011 he released the stark, unforgiving and rather audacious novel Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel (Casperian Books), followed by Nickel Fictions: 50 Exceedingly Brief Stories and Cinderella She Was Not: a novelette — both self-published in 2013, and now here in 2014 he’s just released Nothing But Trouble (Shanti Arts Publishing), another collection of stories, this time accompanied by the complimentary images of photographer Vincent Louis Carrella.
From the press copy: This uncompromising collection of stories comes from the widely acclaimed and award winning master of the short story, Bob Thurber. Here he weaves his tales around such facets of the human condition as Fathers and Fools, Women and Children, Marriage and Divorce, and Art and Artifice. Typically unsettling and revelatory, Thurber knows how to cast a story that depicts the coarse reality of life, and his skills are displayed here with both passion and sentiment. Thurber gives the reader a chance, not to peek, but to plunge head first into the deep, dark mystery of simple existence. Accompanied by photographs by the equally intrepid wordsmith and image maker Vincent Louis Carrella.
I’ve been reading, associating with and drawing inspiration and influence from Bob Thurber for the better part of fifteen years now from the early days of Internet socializing we and hundreds of other writers did on the online writer’s workshop (which as it turns out was a social media forerunner. Surely you remember the Zoetrope Virtual Studio, right?). Thurber, whether by will or nomination, was a de facto mentor to a lot of us young budding writers there at the tail end of the last century and we’re all the better for it. I’ve mentioned probably ad nauseam here and elsewhere the tremendous impact Thurber’s writing has had on my own prose work. And I know that through his work and generous sharing of his time, there’s no telling how many up-and-coming writers he’s helped the past decade or more. And readers too, as much of his fiction tends to hit on such a realistic and revelatory level that it can be cathartic.
About three years back I had the distinct honor of not only interviewing — in two parts — my esteemed mentor (I won’t say peer; he’s on a whole other level), but I also had the privilege to acquire a few pieces of his works for publication in the Liquid Imagination webzine when I was an editor there. For our 8th issue of LI I even performed a nifty voice reading of his micro story “Grave Invitation” (a work of his that is also featured in the aforementioned Nickel Fictions collection).
If you like your prose fiction short, honest, straight-to-the-heart and steeped in the oftentimes stunning enigmas of real-life, then you should most definitely be reading the work of Bob Thurber. You’ve been informed. — B.
$22.95 | ISBN: 978-0-9885897-6-6
available at www.shantiarts.com,
most online booksellers and many fine bookstores