Lucid – Benjamin Michael Greene

I recently reviewed this book on and for my good friend and author, Benjamin Michael Greene.  I gave it 5 stars!

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Lucid, a collection of eight short stories, runs the gamut of humorous, fantastic, hopeful, emotional, and poignant. Lucid is sublime in its abundance of rich, vivid imagery that soars off the page with detailed sensory descriptions. Allow yourself to be transported into a world full of wonder; where the impossible is possible and things you thought resided only in dreams become reality. Greene encourages the reader to never stop dreaming and to reach for those dreams; to be willing to escape limitations of reality; if only for a brief respite.

My favorite story is “That Dream She Lived”, about a little girl who escapes reality of school and less-than-attentive parents. I could easily imagine myself as the girl with long, brown hair wearing a pink and purple paid button-up dress, sitting on her swing, splashing her feet in puddles. Greene presents a beautiful vignette reminding the reader how important it is to imagine, wonder and believe in magic.

“Why We Work” is a poem for those stuck in the rut of the work world; merely existing by doing the same thing without passion; people who lost all joy, hope, purpose and ability to dream. Greene reminds us to grab hold of our dreams and make them reality.

“Gaslight”, the shortest story, is a delightful portrait of winter, perhaps something Norman Rockwell could have painted. This story is rich in sensory descriptions of pure, gentle white snow, moments of peace and quiet viewed from a porch during a snow fall, a brief respite from the chaos at this time of year, and the magic of memories.

“Apple Season” is sad, beautiful, and poignant. This story is about loss and despair, and the magic of a ladybug.

“I Watch Them Quietly” is a charming story about friendship and love, as the guardian of a cemetery watches over its inhabitants. An old inhabitant reminds the guardian how important it is to live so that your soul lives on after you depart making you truly immortal.

“Dandruff” is full of vivid description when two men enter the apartment of their older brother only to find it covered floor to ceiling in coloured sticky notes, and try to discern meaning.

“Best for Last”, with characters displaced from another book the author was writing, is a charming tale about a writer experiencing writer’s block (art imitating life?) and characters without a story.

I highly recommend Lucid. Greene has a unique style of prose, with rich, vivid descriptions and limitless imagination. The only negative I can think of is that there should be more stories!

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