Momentary Illumination of Objects In Motion

Fiction - Literary
132 Pages
Reviewed on 02/26/2019
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Author Biography

Jason Arias has worked as a hospital patient food courier, charter bus after-event cleaner, DMV records consolidator, lithography product deliveryman, one-hour photo developer, cashier, vinyl windows warehouse worker, UPS loader, EMT, paramedic, firefighter, LYFT driver, specimen collector, and sometimes a writer.

Jason's writing has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. Momentary Illumination of Objects In Motion is his debut short story collection.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite

Momentary Illumination of Objects in Motion by Jason Arias features quirky characters, impressive and unusual story lines, and critical themes. The collection veers off from common ideas to present stories that highlight the brokenness in our world and the sheer effort by many to survive and make sense of their circumstances. In Deer Don’t Scream, Do They? a young student on his way to becoming a paramedic and a new cop witness death for the first time together. The harrowing experience introduces them to the harsh realities of their careers. Arias explores themes on identity, family relationships, death and life in general.

I started reading each story with anticipation and uncertainty, not knowing what to expect. Each plot is mesmerizing in its own way. The stories feature sensitive topics and unforgettable characters ranging from mermaids to characters grappling with the death of those close to them and, at times, their own death. In some places, the scenes are unusually calm such as that of the paramedic dealing with a disturbingly injured person. In others, the tension is palpable, and those were the places where I held my breath, not knowing what would follow. The collection is intense and moving and, in different ways, it opened my eyes and dared me to view people and situations in a new way. Momentary Illumination of Objects in Motion challenges what is considered normal and will be a treat for readers who are willing to dig deeper to discover concealed notions and emotions.

Divine Zape

Momentary Illumination of Objects In Motion by Jason Arias is a gorgeous collection of short stories that are amazingly rich and hugely entertaining. Readers encounter characters in real-life situations, ranging from paramedics and cops on an accident scene, a gamer's pursuit of love, kids on a game that goes awry, and a lot more. Arias' writing is tight and atmospheric, rippling with powerful imagery, and filled with humor and realism.

The first thing that caught my attention when I opened this book was the exquisite writing. The author has a great economy of words and he never wastes them. The narrative voice is compelling, drawing the attention of the reader to the different facets of the stories, the quirkiness in character description, the focused scenes, the humor, and the realism that permeates the writing. Here is one humorous way in which one of the characters is presented: “Brian looks at his partner, then at the medics, and then at me. And by this point we all know that Brian must be the rookie. I think that Brian-the-rookie-cop looks like me, not in his features, but in the way he stands on one foot and then the other, the way he keeps fidgeting around.”

The Great Expectations Artists begins in an intriguing manner: “A halfie, a midget, and an Italian walk into a music store. It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke. A horrible riddle." The strange thing is that each of these characters goes by two names. Such an opening compels the reader to keep on reading. Momentary Illumination of Objects In Motion is arresting, a fascinating collection. Jason Arias succeeds in making readers move from one exciting story to the next.

Joel R. Dennstedt

Some writers, the most skillful among them, have the uncanny knack or gift or God-given talent to instantly make a reader his/her best friend, sitting comfortably in a bar (or coffee shop, or at the kitchen table) sharing a beer or other favorite beverage, listening to his/her best friend weave a tale to make him/her forget everything but what is said right there, right now. Jason Arias is such a writer, and his exquisitely titled collection of elegantly concise, emotionally hypnotic short stories, Momentary Illumination of Objects in Motion, is comprised of such tales as can be told only by your most gifted BFF. The appetizer to his tellings? A relevance so immediate and intimate to your life, it will make you blush.

Momentary Illumination of Objects in Motion is precisely what Jason Arias perfectly provides in these semi-short offerings: illuminating glimpses into what makes us feel so deeply, makes us most alive, and possibly even makes us understand our lives a little better. The title of his first piece, Deer Don’t Scream, Do They? should serve to introduce the sparse but compelling style with which Arias proceeds: a simple concept, a momentary plot, a lifetime transformation. You can feel it in the title. You experience it in the story. With the immediacy and impact of a fatal crash. And later, this little gem: “Maria laid flat on top of me and put her lips to each corner of my mouth and said, “This is what grownups do, right?” And I was too scared to move, so I just laid there. And she just laid there. And I tried to understand how grownups ever wanted to do anything else.” So few words, so much meaning, such incredible writing. A truly gifted author - the reader’s new best friend.