Flash Fiction Stories With Magical Realism

Flash Fiction Anthologies Book 17

Fiction - Anthology
136 Pages
Reviewed on 07/17/2021
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Cassie Widjaja for Readers' Favorite

Flash Fiction Stories With Magical Realism by Theodore Jerome Cohen is an intriguing collection of thirty flash fiction stories involving magical realism, tarot card readings, and the paranormal. As eloquently stated by American actress Sherilyn Fenn, magic may not be realistic; nevertheless, we are all looking for the dim traces of magic in our lives. Cohen chose these tales from the 438 stories in Book 1 through 6 of Creative Ink, Flashy Fiction anthologies. He also included selected offerings from his two short-story compilations, The Road Less Taken, as well as stories from his Mementos anthology series. Most of these stories are 250 words or fewer, and they are bound to have you hooked from start to finish!

Theodore Jerome Cohen truly hit the ball out of the park with his Flash Fiction Stories With Magical Realism. Flash fiction has always been tricky to write due to the precarious balance between getting your point across and still being succinct; however, Cohen succeeded admirably and created stories memorable enough even long after reading them. I love how Cohen vividly described each scene and made me feel like I was right beside the characters. Each photo piqued my interest, and I wondered how Cohen reimagined the picture and weaved the fictional tale behind it. Cohen did an excellent job of portraying his flawed yet human characters, allowing me to grasp the motivation behind their actions and the reason why they feel the way they do. To those looking for a bit of magic in their lives, this book is for you!

Astrid Iustulin

It is always a joy to read a book written by an author we like. This was precisely my feeling when I read the seventeenth volume in Theodore Jerome Cohen's Flash Fiction Anthologies Series. Dedicated to 30 stories on the paranormal and magical realism, Flash Fiction Stories with Magical Realism shows the best qualities of Cohen's prose, who also uses his pen name, Alyssa Devine, for some of the stories. As with the other books in the Flash Fiction Anthologies Series, each story is inspired by the photograph you admire before reading the story itself.

It is not just a pun to describe Flash Fiction Stories with Magical Realism as a magical read. Cohen (and Devine) is an exceptional writer, and his stories, even the shortest ones, have memorable and original traits. I have read many books in the series, and every time the only reason to complain is when the book comes to an end. Flash Fiction Stories with Magical Realism is no exception. Although the magical realism theme is the same for all the stories, every situation is different and original. I liked that in some stories you find references to characters mentioned earlier, creating an additional thread that you do not have in other collections. The final reason to praise Cohen's collection is that the style is conversational and seasoned with delightful humor. Flash Fiction Stories with Magical Realism is a read I recommend to anyone who loves literature. If you have not read the other books by Cohen/Devine, this is the volume that will make you want to read them all.

Shrabastee Chakraborty

Flash Fiction Stories With Magical Realism is the seventeenth book in Theodore Jerome Cohen’s Flash Fiction Anthologies series. Of the thirty stories presented in this book, a few were written under the pseudonym of Alyssa Devine. As some of the stories were products of weekly Flash Fiction Challenges, they come with a pictorial prompt, which Cohen includes at the beginning of each. Sometimes, a tarot card reading can reveal a future you are better off not knowing. Somewhere, a forlorn lover will wait for all eternity to reunite with their love. Some innocent dolls hide horrible secrets. Sometimes, your guardian angels will keep you safe until the day they can’t. Strange roads can lead to stranger destinies if the rider is not careful.

Theodore Jerome Cohen uses magical realism as an umbrella term for this collection, although the stories touch on diverse genres, including the occult, supernatural, dystopian, and even romance. True to the nature of flash fiction, they had very short lengths. These page-long stories are perfect for readers with a busy work schedule as they take only minutes to read. Yet, their unexpected and often disturbing endings make them remarkable and unforgettable. I lost count of the times I thought to myself: I did not see that coming! A few themes seemed to predominate the anthology, such as guardian angels and tarot card readings. My personal favorites were “Doll,” “Watching,” and “The Death of Madam Ophelia.” I would recommend Flash Fiction Stories With Magical Realism to readers who appreciate supernatural tales with twisted endings.