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Bad Faith Paperback – July 29, 2016
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"In Bad Faith, Theodore Wheeler's debut collection of short stories, it is certainty that causes trouble. Ideas become boundaries, lines any reasonable person might draw for him or herself: beliefs in who they are or were, that what they're doing is the best thing for them. Marriages, homes, children, careers. And yet here, at the borders of identity and place, is where Wheeler makes his incision."
"The collection is interspersed with vignettes that lead like breadcrumbs from the opening piece to the last. The finale, also titled 'Bad Faith,' unfolds in a three-part structure, guiding us back around to the beginning and answering the question that has been on our mind since page 23. It ties the whole collection together and ends the book on a different--and more intriguing note--than it opened on. To say more would be to spoil the treat. Suffice it to say that if a novel is meant to end with a sense of opening out, then this collection leaves us eager for more of Wheeler's dark, quiet world."
"The stories feel linked in an understated but solid way, creating a canvas with more depth than any one short story alone could give. Wheeler's characters are people we know. They are the people who have failed us, as well as the people we have failed. His stories are reminders that few things in this world are completely random. Not luck or grace or pain or violence. Certainly not death or karmic justice."
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A very simple (complicated) read that is cohesively dis-jointed - exactly a summation of Nebraska if ever there was one! This is not classic literature, but I suggest it is well worth the time for the insights it provides.