Monday, January 11, 2016

G592 Book Review of Loss Angeles by Mathieu Cailler

General Information:

Name of Book: Loss Angeles

ISBN: 9780988249745

Publisher: Short Story American Press

Year it was published: 2015


In this superb debut collection of short stories, Mathieu Cailler weaves tales which bring to life the deeply-human experience with loss and its range of outcomes. From loneliness to recovered relationships, from despair to redemption, from heartbreak to humor, these fifteen stories illuminate the sadness, bewilderment, conflict and ultimate hope which can come from each human being's inevitable encounters with loss. Author Laurie Alberts writes: "LOSS ANGELES doesn't focus on the bright lights of Tinseltown, but rather on the quiet day-to-day pain of marginalized people paralyzed by loss, poor choices, obsessions, and love. These subtle, beautifully wrought, and richly realized stories showcase Cailler as an intrepid fiction writer who is always compassionate to his characters and their moral quandaries."

Author: Mathieu Cailler

About the Author:
(From pump up your book)

Mathieu Cailler is a writer of prose and poetry. His work has been widely published in national and international literary journals. Before becoming a full-time writer, Cailler was an elementary school teacher in inner-city Los Angeles. “I came to writing in a rather circuitous way. I always penned jokes for stand-up comedy appearances but later realized it wasn’t just comedy that applealed to me, but all writing.” A graduate of Vermont College of Fine Arts, Cailler was awarded the Short Story America Prize for Short Fiction and a Shakespeare Award for Poetry. His chapbook, Clotheslines, was recently published by Red Bird Press. LOSS ANGELES is Cailler’s first full-length book.

1. Over the Bridge

One Sentence Summary:

In first person narrative, a young woman named Ella recounts how she is at a principal's office and misses her mother a lot, followed by how she goes to a party at a friend's house and what happens to her there as well as how it all ends for her.

2. A day like today

One sentence summary:

In third person narrative, a man named Locklin visits his ex-wife in beginning of the story to wish his young son a happy birthday. While there he celebrates his son's birthday with another man, Roger as well as some kids and his ex-wife Melanie. After watching his son become happy over a gift, Locklin makes a choice of sabotaging it and watches the consequences unfold.

3. Dissonance

One sentence summary:

In third person narrative, a man named Mick begins to recount how his mother abandoned him and his father, and how he found her in a neighborhood and makes a choice to buy a house next door to hers and bides for time to confront her.

4. One-Night Stand

One sentence summary:

In first person narrative, Gray, who happens to be a comedian arrives to do an act at Koffee Korner and meets up with Jim who invites a major talent scout by name of Mike. The description of acts follow and then at last Mike's opinion about Gray.

5. Graveyard Shift

One sentence summary:

In third person narrative, a man by the name of Luis arrived to work at The Estates doing a graveyard shift. While working and remembering his dead wife Elba, he witnesses a car accident and must assist the young woman who happens to be the victim.

6. Birds of Paradise

One sentence summary:

In first person narrative a young man by the name of Gregory decides to visit his lover by name of Cole.

7. Hit and Stay

One sentence summary:

In third person narrative, while Penn is driving home and thinking of his life as well as observing things, he runs over a dog.

8. Do You See the Big Dipper?

One sentence summary:

In third person narrative, a couple by name of Jack and Polly begin to listen to a jazz concert that they listened to previously. While listening and doing commentary on music and other audience, Jack makes some life changing decisions.

9. Dark Timber

One sentence summary:

In first person narrative, a boy by name of Clevie along with his father and older brother, Roy are out hunting. While hunting, Clevie begins to recall his and his brother's life with his father and how he is abusive towards their mother and so forth.

10. Neighbors

One sentence summary:

In third person narrative, Tiago Sandoval is asked by a neighbor, Norma to look after her things while she visits her son. Tiago refuses thus Norma's granddaughter, Nash and Nash's boyfriend Rickie enter the picture. While Nash is staying at Norma's house, she and Tiago begin to get to know one another.

11. Zorba's

One sentence summary:

In first person narrative, Nick and Lisa are going to a baby shower because Lisa is pregnant and on the way while discussing what to name their future son, Nick gets a flat tire. On the way they go to a Greek restaurant by name of Zorba's and continue to try to come up with different names for the son.

12. Blowing Out the Candles

One sentence summary:

In third person narrative, Walker gets up and as he is relaxing, his older brother calls and asks him to do things for Mrs. Retton, to which Walker agrees. As Walker tours the house, he makes himself a drink and gets woken by Mrs. Retton. While inside he ends up stealing money and tries to do a good deed for Mrs. Retton to make up for what he had done.

13. When Men Wore Hats

One sentence summary:

In third person narrative, Shin is a teacher who decided to teach Chinese at a school and while going home he comes upon a play that held auditions for A Streetcar Named Desire and when he got home, he begins to recall his life, in particular of his American grandmother, Nainai who was close to him, He ends up auditioning for the play as Stanely as an understudy, and eventually he becomes Stanley and thus his life begins to change.

14. Chasing Light

One sentence summary:

In first person narrative Conrad Ingalls begins to talk about his life from the time he married his wife Karen to when they moved to Santa Catalina and while doing a job he runs into a famous movie star that "ran away" from it all. While remembering the crisis that entered into their marriage, Conrad catches interesting photos of Drake.

15. You're With Me

One sentence summary:

In third person narrative, Tess begins recalling how she got a tattoo as well as how she meets a man  and the life she spent with him, as well as what drove her to get the tattoo change and she also learns of the secrets that her boyfriend, CJ, has kept from her.


I really enjoyed the stories and found them to be unusual, in a good way, as well as something to think about or to imagine what will happen next to the characters, what steps they will take in their journey of life. I also enjoyed the writing, how mature and detailed it felt and how different the writing was towards characters. All in all, a recommended read.

Monday, May 4
Interview at Literarily Speaking
Tuesday, May 5
Interview at The Writer’s Life
Wednesday, May 6
Interview at PUYB Virtual Book Club
Thursday, May 7
Book Featured at Laura’s Interests
Book Featured at fuonlyknew
Friday, May 8
Guest Blogging at Bookingly Yours
Monday, May 11
Tuesday, May 12
Interview at Examiner
Wednesday, May 13
Guest Blogging at Confessions of a Reader
Book Featured at Bound 2 Escape
Thursday, May 14
Book Review at Books, Reviews, ETC.
Friday, May 15
Monday, May 18
Guest blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner
Tuesday, May 19
Interview at C.A. Milson’s Blog
Wednesday, May 20
Book Review at Cheryl’s Book Nook
Thursday, May 21
Book Featured at Queen of All She Reads
Friday, May 22
Monday, May 25
Interview at Beyond the Books
Tuesday, May 26
Book Featured at Undercover Book Reviews
Wednesday, May 27
Book Featured at Maureen’s Musings
Thursday, May 28
Book Featured at CBY Book Club
Friday, May 29
Guest Blogging at The Story Behind the Book
- See more at:

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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