50 States

Richard R. Becker
Narrator: Brian Callanan

A man has lost his son in a farming accident and must find a way to move on from the trauma. Two runaways are hot to leave home, but with only one ticket between them they must fight for the chance. Two high school alumni reconnect over Facebook, sort of, as each looks at the other’s profile and wonders just how much of the digital persona is real and how much of it is fake. These are just two of the fifty stories included in this emotionally charged collection of short stories that span from the USA’s sea to shining sea. Take a roller coaster ride of a literal road trip and explore the things that make not only the United States of America great, but humans as well.

Mr. Becker’s collection of short stories found in “50 States” are all moving and explore the things that make life worth living. Across the board, most of the stories are indeed quite short, capturing a glimpse into the ordinary lives of the characters. All of the people featured in the book are every day civilians, which readers will connect with. A few stories take on some tough and triggering content like death and rape. Each tale focuses on the emotions of the different characters, and it is this depth that will hook readers in! There is no overarching plot connecting the stories together.

Mr. Callanan’s narration is a solid performance! With the book being a collection of short stories, it’s important that each story has a mood and setting, and Mr. Callanan delivers! Which isn’t an easy task given there are fifty of them. His tone and pacing shifts for each new tale, and he does a masterful job at balancing the different characters. While his pitch doesn’t change drastically so that each one has their own voice, he’s still able to give them all their own personality and capture their emotions!

This is a great read for lovers of travel, adventure, and heartwarming books!

Chelsea Andersen