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Flowering and Other Stories Paperback – May 22, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 314 pages
  • Publisher: AuthorMike Ink; 0012- edition (May 22, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984580174
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984580170
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,693,434 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

5-star reviews for Flowering and Other Stories, a 16-story short-story collection 

Do yourself a favor and buy two copies. One for yourself and one for someone you care about.
Bob Poole

Tom Bentley has a very vivid and picturesque way of writing.  I was easily drawn into each story. The stories were absorbing, captivating and made for enjoyable reading.
Cecillia - Goodreads review

Tom has a way of phrasing things, of animating words, of holding images hostage to his whip of ink that make reading his short stories a physical as well as emotional, visual and mental experience.
Becky Blanton

From the Author

Flowering is a collection of stories built around the themes of loss, social disruption, mistaken judgment and stumbling redemption. From a shoplifting sociopathic genius to a card-dealing witch offering a mystical experience at the blackjack tables to a harsh drunk who turns out to be a malignant--yet chillingly accurate--soothsayer, the story's lead characters are complex and not always charming, but their colors are memorably bright. 

Location also figures significantly in other stories: settings in suburban Seattle, a bleak Arizona desert town and a tiny cottage in New Orleans all draw deeply on the native textures of their territories. From flash fiction to richly woven tales, Flowering invites you into distinct worlds, all built on story.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
56%
4 star
38%
3 star
6%
2 star
0%
1 star
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See all 16 customer reviews
The stories weren't simple, but they were very easy to read.
George
The author moves effortlessly from humorous to poignant and even tragic stories.
Girlfiddler
This is an interesting collection of eclectic short stories.
Peter Bourget

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Becky Blanton on June 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
I can't get the images out of my mind. Tom has a way of phrasing things, of animating words, of holding images hostage to his whip of ink that make reading his short stories a physical as well as emotional, visual and mental experience. In other words -- his writing rocks.

I can't talk about my favorite parts of these stories without giving away the plot twists, but suffice it to say I'll never assume certain things ever again. And while I love trains and totally understand the power of standing alongside one as it blasts by, I won't look at trains the same way either.

Tom has that rare sense of being able to find the fleeting thought, the one we bury or slam the door on when it tries to come inside our consciousness. He welcomes those thoughts in, milks them for their horror or weirdness and turns them into something we, if we allow ourselves to see it, recognize as something we'd all say, or think if we allowed ourselves to.

Great read and worth the price and then some.
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You would think that after having published a couple of books and written thousands upon thousands of words for publication over the last 45 years, I would be able to adequately express myself in a book review. But, I've been staring at a blank screen for weeks now trying to summon the sentences that will do justice to "Flowering and Other Stories."

First, know that I bought the book and then let it sit for a couple of weeks. I know the author, Tom Bentley and I know that he the magical ability to use words to make me laugh, bring me to tears, and give me a warm glow inside. I know he can do all that and more. But, I wondered, did he do that with "Flowering and Other Stories." And, I was tentative about picking it up and starting down the path that I hoped would lead me to all these things. Or, would I be disappointed?

Finally, I picked it up one afternoon. I didn't set it back down until late that evening - after I had read it from cover-to-cover. It was all that I hoped it would be and more. Yes, I laughed, cried, was amazed, and experienced emotions from joy to anger. Tom can do that with his words. And, he's done it with this collection of short stories.

Do yourself a favor and buy two copies. One for yourself and one for someone you care about.

And, know that my simple words - my review - don't do it justice.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"If you are going to hell, go then, but go gracefully--don't arrive in a Rambler."

That's a line from one of my favorite stories ("Presence") in this strange and wonderful collection.

Actually, FLOWERING happens to be the second book of fiction by author Tom Bentley that I've added to my library because he knows how to take a reader to hell, and back, in style. There's no stodgy Rambler (or any rambling at all) on this unforgettable road trip into some dark and winding corners of the author's imagination.

Since author Becky Blanton, in her review, so aptly described his way of "animating words" and "holding images hostage to his whip of ink," I'll focus on another dimension of his writing that I also really enjoy.

It's the way Tom develops, and allows the reader a scintillating glimpse into, his characters' internal lives. From the 6-year-old dairy product thief to an 84-year-old woman trying to steal a little more time--and all the secret rhino-lovers, wacko roommates and eternally damned Catholics in-between--his characters deliver.

And so I'd encourage you to get this book delivered to your mailbox... or, as I did, to a handy e-reader.
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By Manuela Wehrmann on September 23, 2012
Format: Paperback
[[ASIN:0984580174 Flowering and Other Stories]

I was drawn to the book by its cover, its title, a promise of an opening....The speeding train: travel to somewhere yet unknown. And so it is with this book, story after story with rich complex characters that you open to and endings that always surprise you. As my boyfriend and I trolled for salmon in Southeast Alaska, I read him one of the short stories: Safe at Home. I had forgotten that my boyfriend was a baseball star in high school 30+ years ago. While reading to him, I would stop and listen to his baseball stories, then return to reading to him . As I read, he reveried. What I love about short stories is that they are short. A good compilation of short stories like the Flowering is a welcome bedside companion ( boot the boyfriend out). Opening, adventure and closure in one reading... a few stories purposely remain unread, adventure awaits: another morsel waiting to be savored.
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Format: Paperback
i received this book in exchange for an honest review.

the book consists of a set of short stories from different areas of life. i picked up this book coz i needed a fast read. after reading a number of heavy novels i wanted something light. and this book fit the bill perfectly. the characters designed in the book are very heart touching. but what i loved most about the book was the writing style. it brings back memories. which is what i loved the most. i certainly will recommend this book to people who are looking for a quality writing.
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By c15ca on January 31, 2014
Format: Paperback
The main characters of these stories are not sympathetic enough for me to be drawn into their world. They seem to go on and on about unnecessary details of things and don't show much emotion. Actually, I almost hate the main character in Flowering, because he keeps complaining about and loathing his weird roommate to the nitty-gritty details. The end of that story is easy to guess. For those who love slow-paced stories, this may be for you.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Hello. I'm Tom Bentley, and I've run a writing and editing business out of my house for many years. I've published hundreds of nonfiction freelance pieces, and am working on a second novel. My nonfiction pieces include first-person essays, travel pieces and more journalistic articles; venues include Writer's Digest, Writer's Market, the Los Angeles Times and many more. I've won three Traveler's Tales Solas Awards.

I was the 1999 winner of the National Steinbeck Center's short story contest, and that story is included in my collection, Flowering and Other Stories, which was published by AuthorMike Ink in May of 2012. (And I hope by this point it doesn't sound as though I'm just blathering on.)

My other interests are reading, bicycling, brain research, basketball, politics, travel, photography, chocolate, whiskey and selected nonsense. I live in the hinterlands of Watsonville, California, surrounded by strawberry fields and the occasional Airstream. See my lurid website confessions and writing-related blog at http://www.tombentley.com