Who are the stars of these brief lives? A boy who steals a trundlewheel. An astronaut. A betrayed wife. A man jealous of his lover's chickens. Commuters. Glampers. Psychotic twins. What do they have in common? Nothing -- except the funny-haha and funny-strange conditions of their lives that bring them joy or misery and make us laugh at them and pity them and love them too. What happens when you lose both your eyes to squash accidents? When you inherit a shop full of curios? When you fall for the spirit of a famous murderer? When your son's a tramp? When the one you love is about to kill herself? Or has the Ganges delta in her bloodshot eye? When your butcher doesn't know anything about meat? Discovering the answers to these questions will knock you sideways -- and show that the more we understand about people's oddity, the more we come to appreciate their essential humanity. In these tiny stories, written over a period of a few short months, Tony Williams pushes the limits of prose fiction, homing in on the moments that sum up lifetimes and their complicated, bittersweet emotions. Each story crams a whole world into a couple of pages -- you can sneak them one at a time whenever you have a spare minute, or gobble the lot.
A phenomenal piece of flash fiction by Williams. It's rare for an author to really grasp what it means to create flash fiction, often omitting character development or plot for the sake of a word count.
Not so with "The Best of Fathers." It's concise yet it tells a very rich story of a con man and his spoiled daughter. I loved the ending (though I won't spoil it).
Definitely worth picking up a copy of this collection. Every story is less than a 1,000 words and you savor every one of them.
Reviewed by Alain Gomez
Buy this collection on Amazon.