“The Inquisition and Other Stories” by Michael Tabor

The Inquisition and Other Stories

Michael Tabor
S&S BookEnds LLC (2022)
ISBN: 978-0-9986778-3-5
Reviewed by Lily Andrews for Reader Views (12/2021)

“The Inquisition and Other Stories” by Michael Tabor is an eclectic collection of masterfully written short stories that derive ideas, style, and taste from a broad range of sources. The entries are diverse, in length and topic, and encompass the ups and downs of everyday life.

The choice of language is skillful and shifts in each story. The mood and the tone present in the stories also differ to accommodate the theme at hand. For example, in ‘Exodus,’ the tone is poignant and sad as it paints only too well the bleak period of the Holocaust. Many of the stories, too, use flashbacks but still manage to introduce well-crafted characters along the way, which I found quite creative.

The stylistic devices used vary across the stories. For some entries, such as ‘Belle Lettres: A Novel,’ the author uses epistolary interludes beautifully to write a full-blown story. Other dominating stylistic devices include imagery and parallelism. Additionally, the stories careen across different periods and places. ‘Catherine Lescault,’ the first entry, is set in France and Rome while ‘Exodus,’ another entry, is set in Berlin and Australia. The renaissance period, a time characterized by European cultural, artistic, and economic rebirth, is depicted in the book’s first entry gracefully.

The cast of characters are surrounded by tribulations such as terminal ailments, rejection, treachery, betrayal, and disappointments. However, some of the characters do work their way out of these challenges.

“The Inquisition and Other Stories” certainly piqued my interest in this distinct and autonomous genre, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading these stories. I particularly enjoyed how Tabor presents readers with a set of flawed characters, making them a relatable bunch. The stories move fast with precision, at times evocative and other times with realism, and I could hardly wait to start the next story. For this reason, I give the book 5 stars.

Overall, “The Inquisition and Other Stories” depict the triumphs and heartbreaks of humans across time. The choice of language is top-notch, and I learned new terms as I read on. In my opinion, Michael Tabor has written a page-turner of monumental proportions, a wonderful addition to the genre.

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