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Epic Cures Paperback – December 4, 2005
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desires. But "epicure" also applies because of his sensuous enjoyment of words. For certain, Tom Sheehan is a master craftsman of words.
In these 22 stories, Sheehan skillfully eases readers into the lives of his characters. Barriers are broken and lessons learned in true Sheehan style. His world of stories is one of small miracles and unexpected blessings, the wonders of dawning
sexuality and bird-broken silences, earthy humor and ironic revenge. In Sheehan's stories, "The impact of words often lasts well beyond the sound of them...The energy of them is sometimes indestructible." (From "Flesh of an Unwanted Fish") He allows his words to renovate houses and lives, to exact a fitting vengeance, to reprise love. In profound ways, Sheehan softens with the sweetness of life those hard knocks that often
leave humans reeling. He shines a light on humanity's raw edges and in that process of revelation allows us to experience "the marvelously imponderable things of life."
To illustrate my points, I've chosen one character from one story as a sample. Meet Duke, from "The Duke's Black Bag:"
"Drake Ulban Kincaid (Duke to all), forty two, looked like a bag of razor blades, tough as a bag of nails and for almost ten years running had been the Navy middleweight boxing champ. His face was a series of acute edges and angles...
The boxing leavings were permanent, but worn badge-like, and lifted his eyes. All first impressions made him, at once, serious and of keen interest.Read more ›
Clearly, Sheehan wants us to be, as he is, well acquainted with them all. Saugus, Massachusetts--muscled, polyglot, blue-collar--is Sheehan's Winesburg, Tilbury Town, and Main Street. Populated by few out-and-out heroes, villains, or fools, they are people-people, who avoid extremism in politics and religion. Even their sex is mainstream, sometimes illicit, rarely kinky. The causes they champion are local athletic teams, armed-servicemen and, by God, Saugus itself. Some of them, and not all, know days of hard work, nights of carousing. No, they aren't all lovable--but read, and re-read, this little book--they are all well worth knowing. Fun, and deep.