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Reviewed by Dr. Karen Hutchins Pirnot for Readers' Favorite
A Spider Spinning Daydreams by Kenneth Tucker is a book of short stories that captures the reader's interest from the first page to the last. Tucker has a vivid imagination and nearly has his audience believing in aliens, hermits and human devils. Lester Wilthammer is a college professor whose wife left him for more exciting experiences. He is approached by another professor, John Tanner. Tanner attempts to befriend the peculiar Wilthammer but meets with only minimal success. Gradually, the abandoned professor becomes more and more of a recluse as Tanner gets on with his life. The story is a study in human behavior and how perceived rejection can cause unfathomable results in humans who yield to negative innate characteristics. And then, we are treated to a study of Leon Krull, a mentally challenged individual who craves human interaction to the point where he creates his own companionship. Leon is a totally likeable guy who just doesn't seem to fit in with the crowd, but the reader has to applaud his ingenuity in being able to satisfy his own basic needs.
Author Kenneth Tucker's imagination also takes us to the fate of an alien female who has been created to pleasure men. However, her programming runs amok and she is banished from her home planet. When reaching Earth, she initially adapts, but then her inborn personality traits surface and she again runs into trouble. What I loved about Tucker's stories was his ability to gain insight into the human personality and to bring his characters to the point where their deficiencies became a lifestyle choice. When their backs were against the wall, they had to chose whether to survive or whether to succumb. The resolutions to each of the characters' problems was so well done that the reader will ponder the choice long after the last page is turned. The story of young love is touching and the story of Lester is one which will haunt you for days to come.