Excellent Review of “Anne Frank on Tour and Other Stories”
July 28, 2023
We are delighted to read this recent post by Markie B of NetGalley who showed insight and a fine writing style in her review of Anne Frank on Tour and Other Stories.
Member Reviews – 4 Stars –
Markie B, Reviewer
|Anne Frank on Tour and Other Stories by George Thomas Clark is a vibrant collection of literary short stories that explore a wide range of themes, including History, Love, Need, Excess, and Final Acts. Each story offers a unique and imaginative perspective on various aspects of life and human experiences.
In the section on History, the author presents fictional scenarios that intertwine with real historical figures and events. For instance, Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings engage in a revealing interview that sheds light on their complicated relationship. Anne Frank, the young Holocaust victim, is imagined to survive the tragedy and embark on a book tour in the United States to promote her famous diary. Additionally, an Austrian customs official is confronted with a traveler from the future, who warns him about his troubled son.
The Love section delves into romantic relationships and explores the complexities of human connection. Stories feature an adult female student infatuated with her male English teacher, lonely individuals seeking quick romance through speed dating, and a middle-aged man in a troubled marriage forming an unlikely bond with a hitchhiker who lives by unconventional rules. Other stories in this section explore themes of possessiveness and materialism within relationships.
In the Need section, the focus shifts to characters in dire circumstances and the lengths they go to survive. A homeless man called “The Ragpicker” explains the harsh realities of homelessness to a well-meaning benefactor. An aspiring screenwriter resorts to desperate measures to meet Dolly Parton for his project. An aging man struggles with financial woes, while another individual desperately searches for medical help to no avail. In a more fantastical story, mammals and creatures in Puget Sound take a stand against human encroachment.
The Excess section centers on the consequences of indulgence, particularly related to alcohol and substance abuse. These stories explore how drinking leads to poor decision-making and the impact it can have on various aspects of life. Sigmund Freud makes an appearance, trying to help a friend addicted to morphine through a mysterious white powder, and an American tourist in Mexico discovers the effects of magic mushrooms.
Finally, the collection concludes with Final Acts, where the author imagines encounters and reflections from iconic figures such as Marvin Gaye, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, and Jim Morrison. Through letters, diaries, and other forms of communication, these stories provide glimpses into the emotions and struggles of these famous individuals.
Overall, “Anne Frank on Tour and Other Stories” offers a rich and diverse tapestry of narratives, capturing the essence of human experiences across different periods and circumstances. George Thomas Clark’s storytelling weaves together history, imagination, and human emotion, making this collection a compelling and thought-provoking read.