The Literary Titan website reviewed my anthology of short stories, I Have Demons, and published the book review below.
Christopher Adam’s book, I Have Demons, is a collection of three stories that are snapshots of the lives of three different people in and around the city of Ottawa, Canada. As the author describes in the preface, the main characters in these stories in some way “live on the margins,” both physically and socially. From an elderly woman who is neglected by her son and relishes any excitement she can find outside the retirement home in which she lives, to a priest who finds himself struggling to find compassion for a mentally ill man who pressures him into a uncomfortable task, to a struggling college graduate who has to put all dignity aside to try to make it in the big city, the author highlights the struggles of people who are frequently overlooked by the rest of mainstream culture.
The thing that left the biggest impression on me while reading this book was Adam’s excellent use of descriptive writing throughout his stories. His ideas become real for his readers through the way in which he is able to describe things, not just by using many adjectives, but by using detailed imagery that makes his story seem real. Everything that he describes, from a blustery wind to an old woman’s hands, takes shape in the reader’s mind through his words and metaphors. The descriptions create a feeling of uniqueness in his stories, and in their own way, can help the reader to see ordinary things from a fresh perspective.
Having said that, I don’t think the title matches the content of the book in terms of a meaningful description. Although the words in the title come from a quote in the book, I don’t feel like this particular quote gave me the correct impression of the content of the book. While Adam may want to convey the idea that all his characters have to deal with their own demons, I think that, without context, the title seems suggested to me that this book is one of horror or suspense. Regardless, because the stories are well-written, thoughtful, and descriptive, I highly recommend this book.
Interesting comment that the writer finishes off his review with about the title of the book somehow refering to horror etc.
“I have demons” was perfect for me because it opened it up to everybody and not just a few. For me it suggested what we all carry through the ordinary of our days and so helped me to identify with at least one of the subjects .
Thanks for your feedback, Eleanor! I tend to think that one of the things all of humanity has in common is that each of us carry with us, whether consciously or not, our life experiences, and these often colour and impact how we think and relate to others in the present.
“I Have Demons” was a most engaging read for me. This interview gave greater depth to those characters and their lived experiences. I notice with more detail now both the human and the spiritual essence of this books characters and how they may even be showing the reader to embrace our reality with grace, even if it is sometimes disguised.