Friday, October 15, 2010

Book Review: Scar Tissue

Scar Tissue: Seven Stories of Love and Wounds by Marcus Sakey is a short e-book of stories. Sakey includes not only 7 stories but also excerpts from four of his books.

The seven stories are:
The Days When You Were Anything Else
The Desert Here and the Desert Far Away
Gravity and Need
No One
As Breathing
The Time Before the Last

The excerpts are from:
The Blade Itself
At The City’s Edge
Good People
The Amateur

 My favorite story was the first one: The Days When You Were Anything Else. It’s about a man who has gone straight – a man who used to be very crooked. He’s surviving in this new life, not prospering, but he’s out of the game and will never go back. That’s what he thinks, anyway. Until he has no choice. As a reader, you have to ask yourself, What would make me go back into a life I’ve turned my back on? Who or what would I kill for? Would I take a life? Would I give up my own life?

Sakey’s stories pull at your gut and some make you want to turn away. Not all have happy endings, but then a lot of things in our lives don’t have happy endings, do they? Even when you think, I don’t want to read this, or this is too personal and makes my stomach clench, you’ll keep reading. With each protagonist (and each story has its own lead character), you live in that man’s mind and you’ll wish hard for a happy ending. It won’t matter whether you approve of the guy or what he’s doing, you’ll keep reading.

Each story is different and compelling, even The Time Before the Last, which is only 25 words long.

I’m giving Scar Tissue: Seven Stories of Love and Wounds by Marcus Sakey a Straight From Hel rating of Hel-of-a-Writer. (This is a new rating level suggested by Karen from Mentor and it fits this book.)
FTC Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by Dana Kaye, of Kaye Publicity, who suggested I might want to review it, but this did not influence my review. And I almost didn’t review Scar Tissue. Not because I didn’t like it, ‘cause I did, but because I don’t have an eReader. So Ms. Kaye sent me a printed-out copy. Printed on both sides. With no page numbers. I took it with me on a trip to Colorado and read it on the plane and in the hotel room and in the restaurant and in Starbucks. And got the pages mixed up. Did I mention there were no page numbers? I had to stop twice and figure out the pages and put things back in order. When they’re out of order, they tend not to make sense. It works better to have the pages in order, even with my brain. But you won’t have to worry about that since it comes in eForm.


  1. Sounds good. I read one of his stories in the Killer Year antho, which was very strange and impressive.

  2. Sounds very intriguing, Hel. How did you unscramble the pages? Yikes!

  3. Another perfect ten for your disclaimer!
    And obviously you need an eReader. Specifically an iPad of course!

  4. Sounds pretty gut-wrenching...and I don't mean the part where the pages got mixed up.

  5. I can hear that kindle calling me! Sounds like a great read.

  6. This sounds like a book that asks some very powerful questions. It's easier to explore them in fiction than in reality though!

  7. I laughed at your disclaimer, picturing pages tossed in the air.
    I'm thinking you ought to get an ereader...

  8. My husband has an iPad, but he uses it constantly for reading and email, contacts, and business. It travels with him. My usual time to read is in the mornings before daylight. But that's also his time to read. Don't know that I can justify the cost of another iPad in the family.

  9. I used to avoid short stories, but have come to appreciate them more this year. This sounds like a winning collection!

  10. Reading a book with pages in random order must be confusing. It's like my old well-used calculus book that fell apart 15 years ago. Now it's basically useless, can't find the pages I'm looking for >:)

    Cold As Heaven

  11. And a perfect rating, I think, because I've heard Marcus Sakey is very talented. Maybe he should think about a new publicist, however.

  12. I echo Jaoanne's sentiments. Much easier to read in fiction than reality.

    Stephen Tremp

  13. I don't think it was a fault of the publicist. I just kept reading in odd places, setting pages on the couch beside me in Starbucks or on the table at lunch and getting them mixed up. As soon as I realized they weren't numbered, I should have numbered them. Mea Culpa.

  14. Thanks for the insightful review. Another book to add to by TBR pile. And with Kindle it so way too easy to buy. Just click the link and whahoo, the book appears on the device.

    You must have really been enjoying the book to deal with the pages getting out of order like that. I'm surprised the pages weren't numbered, or bound somehow. Cone binding is so economical and keeps the pages in order. LOL

  15. I loved the disclaimer as usual. There ought to be a prize for your diclaimers...laughing..

    The thing I noticed as I read your post was that I could easily make a poem out of the story titles. I think that in itself shows attention to detail in the author. If the titles evoke an immediate response, what must the stories be like?

    Intrigued I must say.

    Thank you for the shout out. Maryann came to visit and then sweetly added herself to my minions. I couldn't be more pleased. I love to grow the circle.

    *hugs Helen*
    Karen :0)

  16. This sounds like a very intense read. LOVE your FTC disclaimer!!

  17. Maryann, I was happy that she offered to print it out for me. It was my mistake not to number the pages.

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  19. I don't have an eReader either. I keep telling myself I don't want one, but I can tell I'm probably missing out on some good stories such as these.

    Once again - great disclaimer!

  20. Jane, at first I told my husband I did not want one when he suggested it as a Christmas present. Today, I watched him prop his iPad on his knee as he sat on the couch drinking coffee. I was trying to read a paperback and it took two hands to hold and turn pages. I think I may change my mind on that present.

  21. This sounds interesting, I'll look it up. Thank you


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