Love Is a Four Letter Word: True Stories of Breakups, Bad Relationships and Broken Hearts
Let me be perfectly clear about this. I’m generally not a fan of collections of stories, either true or non-fiction. Why? Because the quality level of the writing tends to vary so much in most anthologies to the point where it feels like volunteering to take a ride down a long and bumpy road. But my instincts told me that this collection of 23 “true stories of seduction, heartbreak and regret” would be the exception. For me, it was.
Credit must go to editor Michael Taeckens for finding some very talented American writers, of which he is one. Perhaps I should say equally talented, because it’s almost as if editor Taeckens has applied the writing equivalent of a sound limiter… Everything here comes off in an ear-and-mind-pleasing mid-range tone.
As for the stories themselves, they separate into two general categories: the extremely humorous ones in which the writers have accepted the follies and embarrassments of their youth, and the sad and regretful ones in which the writers are still not quite sure who was at fault in their doomed love affairs and relationships. (The latter, when looking back, are not even sure why they fought so hard with their ex-partners.)
Such is, in the words of Glenn Frey, love in the 21st Century. As it is, this reader raced so quickly through the 290 pages in Love… that just one question remains. When is Michael Taeckens editing his next compilation of stories and when, exactly, can I pre-order it?
Thanks to Alexandra at Plume for the review copy!
Note: There is some adult content in this collection, but nothing that one hasn’t either seen or heard about before.