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Reviewed by Jon Michael Miller for Readers' Favorite
The Man Who Screams at Nightfall and Other Stories by Rush Leaming is a powerful, gritty, and exquisitely written anthology based upon the author’s own travels (and 93% true so he tells us). The tales take us to some superbly presented settings--Zaire, NYC, Thailand, Spain, Greece, and South Carolina--and each story is prefaced by an abstract black-and-white photograph. Some of the stories are told in the first person wherein the narrator directly speaks to the reader, and others use the traditional third-person technique. But the most outstanding feature of the volume is the array of down and out characters we meet, characterizations worthy of those we meet in the very best literature—a young nun who flirts with a dying American engineer to keep his spirits up and an aged African man who can fix anything during the day but who keeps the villagers awake by his mysterious nightly screams, to name a few.
My favorite character is Ella, La Loca, a drug-ravaged model in Spain who sells fruit on the beach and steals cocktails from tourists’ tables late into celebratory nights. A number of the stories are told by a roving world backpacker in his numerous locations and dealing with the flotsam and jetsam of humanity, stealing, fighting, and falling in love. Oh, yes, there’s Robo-Cop, a drug rehab security guard, who has a quick, career-ending romance with an inmate. And a host of others who held my interest throughout. The Man Who Screams at Nightfall by Rush Leaming is a breeze to read, highly entertaining, and brilliantly presented—not to be missed.