Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Mistakes by the Lake by Brian Petkash



Mistakes by the Lake

by Brian Petkash

978-1-948692-32-8 paper 19.95

978-1-948692-33-5 ebook 9.99

5½x8½ , 204 pp.

Short Fiction

May 2020

Mistakes by the Lake
Publisher: Madville Publishing
Pages: 204

Set in Cleveland, Ohio, from its earliest beginnings as a forested frontier to the urban blight of modern times, Mistakes by the Lake is a collection of ten thematically-linked stories spanning the many faces of the city’s history:

*a motorman navigates his 1920’s back-and-forth trolley until he snaps;
*a stockyards knocker encounters the Virgin Mary during the 1954 World Series;
*a wannabe wrestles his unruly mind along the flammable 1960’s Cuyahoga River;
*in a reinvention of Henry IV, a young man must either stick with his bumbling criminal crew or uncover legit ways to support his mother and transgender Gramps.


My Review

I appreciate the atmospherics of this collection of 10 stories that are centered around a lake I frequent. 

Each story teaches us to be honest with ourselves and recognize that choices provide the construct of our lives and have an influence on the people we care about. What I like best is the stories provide an exploration of the fundamental aspects of humanity.

I received a copy of this book through the generosity of the author. 

In truth, there's loads of history in this cleverly written collection and it was great fun to follow along and study those subjects I didn't know well.  


About the Author

Brian Petkash was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Tampa and his stories have appeared in Midwestern Gothic and Southword, among other publications. He currently lives in Tampa, Florida, where he remains an avid fan of Cleveland sports.


About the Collection

The collection and its stories have garnered numerous accolades: Finalist: Nilsen Prize (Southeast Missouri State University); Winner: The Lake Prize in Fiction (Midwestern Gothic); Shortlisted: The Novella Award (Liverpool John Moores University); Shortlisted: Munster Literature Centre’s Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Competition; Honorable Mention: Family Matters Contest (Glimmer Train). Praise for the novella, Mistakes by the Lake: “Full of action, movement, tension, and shocks. The world of the Cleveland stockyards and its denizens is brought to life with verve, skill and command” (Vulpes Libris).


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