The Chimes of Westminster: And Other Short Stories
Adult; General Fiction (including literary and historical); (Publish)
A collection of short stories by Gary W. Priester
The stories are quirky and range from chimes, to crimes, to the good old times
In the title story “The Chimes of Westminster,” Sid inherits a chiming antique mantle clock from his great aunt Florence. But does the clock possess a mind of its own? During his research, Sid discovers the clock’s unusual history.
“Death” ponders the deaths we encounter in life. Our hero goes out kicking and screaming. But not before he reveals his intimate acquaintance with the phrase, “kicking the bucket.”
Samantha is besotted with computer nerd, next door neighbor, and fellow student, Willy. But what does Sam have to do to tear Willy away from his computer long enough for Willy to notice her? “Computer Crimes of the Heart” reveals Samantha’s inner hacker.
“Karma, Again.” What goes ‘round comes ‘round and just might kick you in the butt. Will the crooked Cowboy Congressman get reelected? And does karma only affect those who believe in it?
Jake and Ethyl are very unusual travel agents: they hate to travel. But this does not prevent Fly-By-Night Travel from becoming a travel industry leader. Together with grandson Marty, they invent some very unusual and entertaining tour packages, including The Booze Cruise, the Lost at Sea Lifeboat Tours, and their tour de force, “Tours to the Trouble Spots of the World,” where the tourists wear vests with large targets and nasty taunts like: What a crappy country this is! And: Take your best shot! This might be the last tour you will ever take.
Plot/Idea: 10 out of 10
Originality: 9 out of 10
Prose: 10 out of 10
Character/Execution: 9 out of 10
Overall: 9.50 out of 10
Plot: Priester has a knack for storytelling and his timing for humor is spot-on. Each of the sixteen short stories ends with a laugh-out-loud moment for the reader or has humor scattered throughout. The reader will have many “wait for it” instances. Each story is well-executed with an easy tone that would allow these stories to be read aloud.
Prose/Style: Easy and well thought out, Priester has avoided extraneous details and uses delivery that is similar to that of a comedian. His voice resonates off the page as an expert storyteller.
Originality: Being able to cause the reader to laugh out loud in just about every story takes true skill. The subjects that Priester chooses might not seem humorous, but he not only finds the seriousness of each story but the lightheartedness as well.
Character Development/Execution: Priester has a grasp on the characters that he has chosen to include in each story. Sometimes his subject is himself revealing bits about his background through tasteful stories. Regardless, his characters are serious, humorous, lighthearted and real. Despite the characters being part of short stories, the characters are genuine and provide the reader with a glimmer of who they are.
Date Submitted: July 26, 2021