Scar Songs: Stories

W. Royce Adams

Publisher: RJK Books Pages: 138 Price: (paperback) $17.95 ISBN: 9798986488523 Reviewed: May, 2023 Author Website: Visit »

W. Royce Adams’ Scar Songs is an engaging collection of short stories that showcase characters coping with life events and the residual feelings stirred by those happenings, including loss, regret, jealousy, betrayal, and even an ultimate breakdown.

In the opening story “Thief Catcher,” a young grocery store clerk has second thoughts about reporting an elderly shoplifter when he sees the older woman carted away by police. In a similar vein of regret, “Too Late, Naytan” focuses on a man during a flight layover who decides to look up an old friend from high school, only to eventually discover that the long-pondered opportunity has been missed.

From the bitterness and remorse exhibited in “Ever After,” when a father is asked by his son to visit a dying ex-wife, to the lament of a popular Harry Chapin song characterized in “Ties That Bind,” wherein a man realizes too late that he has followed in his own father’s distancing footsteps, Adams’ takes readers down relatable, emotionally charged paths.

The author’s narratives are succinct and well-crafted, with credible dialogue. Most of these stories are explored through a narrator’s first-person point of view. In the title contribution (Scar Song), the narrator learns of his brother’s terminal illness. Here, dialogue becomes the lion’s share of the story presented as a kind of rhythmic pattern of verse, as the siblings reminisce back and forth in a kind of brotherly farewell.

For short story lovers, Scar Songs proves a thought-provoking collection of tales that encapsulate human frailties. Although all the selections here feature a male protagonist, this small, yet enticing volume with its universal sentiments should attract both male and female readers alike.

Also available as an ebook.

Author's Current Residence
Santa Barbara, California
Available to buy at: