This little book is TWISTY, so much so that a couple of the stories I had to read twice just to double check that I actually comprehended it right. Unless your a psychic then you will never in a million years predict the ending of any of the stories in this collection.
There are six stories total, each around or under ten pages, and every single one of them poke at questions of morality. Wiggins creates relatable and understandable characters and then throws them into situations that are very much less than desirable. It’s interesting to see how the characters react to said situations. Very thought provoking!
The writing style itself is great, and the characters are surprisingly well developed given the short length of each story. I felt like some of the more dramatic scene’s were cut short, maybe rushed. I would have loved to see more detailed endings, perhaps a little bit longer per story. If Austin ever writes a full length novel then I will most definitely read it!
We all perceive ourselves as moral, and it’s easy to be so in the boredom of the day-to-day, but what about when things get ugly? Would you have the fortitude to say no if asked by a gangbanger to take part in his scheme to rob a casino? How about if someone threatened to kill your mother? Would you take them out? What would you do if your best friend slept with your wife? Would you save his life or would you let him die? Would you throw away a comfortable, if unspectacular, job as a teacher for the thrill of a big score, even if you could lose everything? Even if you could lose your life? If someone did something beyond the grounds of human decency, how much would their life be worth?
Dark and uncompromising, Bonds That Bind is the first collection of short fiction released by Writings by Ender and Beautiful / Losers Magazine founder Austin L. Wiggins. Equal parts Flannery O’Connor and Cormac McCarthy in tone, coupled with the easy, accessible prose of a Raymond Carver, Wiggins’ collection grabs readers’ attention from the start and doesn’t let go. Enjoy the ride.