Amongst Other Gods


ANTHOLOGY:  “Amongst Other Gods” is a collection of short stories in which the reader meets a wide variety of characters, including Alton, a ‘hellion’ who, much to the confusion of his family, decides to change his name, and Bernice, a bar owner whose golden heart shines as a beacon to sailors everywhere. Each story portrays an aspect of the journey of the soul and explores the interaction of the human condition.


Mr. Dean’s prose is masterful and he is good at the short story form.  His characters are well presented and complex.  His writing style engages the reader and his characters are notable for what they don’t say as much as what they do.  Some of the stories, such as Bernice’s Bar, end rather too abruptly and are more like descriptive vignettes rather than fully-formed narratives.  This does not necessarily detract from the overall enjoyment of the collection of stories.  One gets the feeling that Mr. Dean is trying to create an overall feeling with this collection, with the individual stories coming together to form part of an overall narrative.   At times this is confusing for the reader, especially those looking for more traditionally-wrought fare.   His unconventional style and his creative use of the form challenges the reader, and one finds oneself ruminating over the stories long after the book is put down.  This is a collection with substance and is well-worth a second and third read.

Gwenellen Tarbet