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Fortune Smiles


“The Drone offers up its firewall like a seductress her throat”

Fortune Smiles ~ Adam Johnson

Fortune Smiles is a collection of six short stories by Pulitzer-winning author Adam Johnson. Do not be confused by the cover, this is not the book he won the Pulitzer for but it is still worthy of immense praise. These are not short stories you will forget easily.

I have to admit that the first one kind of put me in a bad mood. A techie-genius invents a speaking hologram of the President of the United States and then Kurt Cobain to deal with the sorrow of his dying wife. The subsequent ones however were comic, brimming with weird and super post-modern. In ‘George Orwell was a friend of mine’ a former Stasi prison guard just cannot see what was wrong with the position he held for fifteen years. He waves a bag of dog poo at a couple of kids and gets to be on Youtube though. ‘Dark Meadow’ is another knockout story about an IT repair guy who is a Pedophile struggling to come to terms with his own memories of being sexually abused.

All the stories share similar themes of loss, jealousy and anger with technology somehow being the binding string between all of them. Johnson clearly has an incredible ability to create exquisitely detailed characters who you think you even recognize. The stories are longer than your average short stories but it won’t take you long to get through them, because…well because the implication is obvious.

Reader reads first story: Hmm maybe this collection just isn’t for me

Reader reads second story: Perhaps a glass of water will slow my beating heart

Reader reads third story: What is happening to me?! Why am I turning inside out

Reader reads fourth story: Why am I laughing and crying at the same time?

Reader reads fifth story: I am emotionally incapable of reading on

Reader reads sixth story: Its over! It can’t be. Is it really? *Stares blankly into space*

Granted I get too emotionally attached to the books I read