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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
When an author quotes a classical writer or two at the beginning of his book, you are likely to expect a literary treat. Strangers in Another Country is Lawrence G. Taylor’s collection of two short stories and two novellas set in the late 60s between the cities of London and Stockholm. David, Charlie, Binky, and Moby are the four impressionable protagonists who are epitomes of wanderlust and alienation. The collection begins with the story “Betty and the Black Puppy,” which demonstrates the power of compassion when the title character goes out of her way to take care of a stray dog. “A Day in the Life of Mr. Charlie Cheddar” is a stirring tale where the narrator recounts his development from a nobody to a somebody that emphasizes the search for purpose. “Binky’s Reverie” is about making the best out of an awkward situation in a small southern Swedish town.
Lawrence G. Taylor’s writings about the joys and pains of expatriation demonstrate his fascination for the beautiful and ugly facets of the world through human experience. The undertones of prejudice and loneliness in his tales exhibit a frank sense of addressing that age-old affective feeling against skin color. “Strangers in Another Country” has existential undertones that do not need to shout in order to be heard. It is the kind of existentialism you feel upon traveling that makes you realize the world is where you are, and life’s absurdities can be found anywhere. From this philosophical insight, it is plain to see that Taylor offers an artistic commitment drawn from the narratives of these stories.