Of the short stories and the two mini-novels included in Stories from the Road, some will have the feel of fable, or remind of science fiction or fantasy, yet uncommon reality may be the closer fit. There is a pruning of extravagance here that helps to keep the stories real. These fictions fall just out of alignment, barely out of true; realities tease just beyond the reach of fingertips and they tantalize. It’s the itch of potential that feeds our wonder, the 'almost' that makes great our temptation.
A thumping good story is what readers want. Give them a sizzling narrative populated with strong characters, burden them with love, goad them with a greed for life, derail them with change, play them on a stage free of poetic airs: provide these and the readers are yours. Stories from the Road almost about fits this profile. Thumping good stories: check; strong characters: affirmative; existential challenge: yes; stage free of poetry: fail.
It is not easy to write prose in the English language and to keep it free of poetry. The richness of its dictionaries and the natural cadence it wants to fall into make prose and poetry the fraternal twins of our language. Fruit to nourish :: flowers to dazzle, each works to fill a hunger. They are kin and work well in each others garden.
With the tools of poetry allowed, plots weigh more, action spins more aggressively, and images plow deeper into psyche than the spare beauty found in narrative alone.
Buy it. It's a good price. You'll be glad you did.