I Didn't Know What To Say, So I Just Said Thanks

Fiction - Anthology
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 04/26/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

David Joseph's I Didn't Know What To Say, So I Just Said Thanks is a collection of enthralling slice-of-life stories following people from varied backgrounds and at different stages of their lives. With the shocking loss of his father, a teenager learns the significance of fishing. A young man reminisces about his high school friend who set him on the path of becoming the man he is today. A property developer's underling tries to intimidate the bartender of a local establishment, seeking to force his boss to sell his land. A former war vet tries to assimilate into a peaceful civilian life as a truck driver, only to witness death all over again. Two friends see a waitress going out of her way to listen to the stories of an older man and his cowboy friend in a restaurant.

Through these riveting tales, David Joseph explores the depths of human emotions in myriad ways by putting his protagonists in situations where their most human characteristics shine. If you enjoy stories featuring believable characters with dramatic endings, I Didn't Know What To Say, So I Just Said Thanks is a collection you should not miss out on. Joseph's characters exhibit distinct personality traits with their unique strengths and flaws, making them relatable to us. The narrative touches upon the complex nature of relationships, aspirations, regrets, desires, and several other aspects of the human condition. A perfect short story collection you're bound to love.

Molly Garcia

I Didn't Know What to Say, So I Just Said Thanks was an enthralling and wonderful read from the start. David Joseph created beautifully described characters, and each story was an emotional journey. One of my favorites would have to be Fishing, as the tale resonated with me, and the ending was deeply poignant. The story from which the book derived its title was another that stood out because of the amusement it provided with the clever ending. Another two stories that deserve special mention are Leaving Town and Widowers, both thought-provoking tales of changing times and getting older. It isn’t possible to mention all 19 of the short stories in this anthology, but be assured that each one is a delight to read.

David Joseph crafted each of these stories with a high level of attention to detail and life-like characters. I Didn't Know What to Say, So I Just Said Thanks is an engaging book, and I found myself reluctant to put it down. I ended up reading over half of it in just one sitting and was eager to return to it as soon as I could. Some accounts are very short, but no less brilliant for being so, and others are a lengthier read but can still be finished easily. Characters like the young man who goes to work at Orville’s gas station, and Roland who demonstrates his compassion when he comes across a terrible accident, are what make this book so relatable to everyone. I would recommend it as a read that will suit anyone across the generations - this book will appeal to all readers.

Bernadette Longu

In I Didn’t Know What to Say, So I Just Said Thanks, David Joseph has written 19 short stories over some time that could stretch from 2000 – 2016 but could have been written just the other day. Each story is unusual in its own right and each ends uniquely, showing different twists, turns, and thoughts which makes for a wonderful read and gives the reader food for thought. The characters in each story catch the reader's attention from the opening line and gently guide them through to the end, and then quietly leave the reader to contemplate the story just read. Each story has its inspiration, insight, hopes, and sorrows, and shows how human nature copes with what life brings.

David Joseph has written each story with such grace, tenderness, inspiration, and thoughts that are inspirational in themselves. In each one, the reader will find something to ponder and think about how wonderful life can be and how each person deals with what life throws at them. In I Didn’t Know What to Say, So I Just Said Thanks, the stories interlink with each other in an inspiring and thought-provoking way. I found each story has a message for the reader. Thank you for a light but very inspiring read with much depth.