642 Riviera Circle
Nipomo, CA 93444
Title: Six Great Short Stories
Author: Robert M. De La Torre
Pages: 360, Paperback
Reviewed by: Gary Sorkin
Review date: June 21, 2010
Appropriately entitled, Six Great Short Stories is a unique work encompassing Robert Michael de la
Torre’s wit and wisdom in his creative approach to the ancient art of storytelling.
He opens with Always Walking Barefoot, a simple tale of a childish friendship of a young boy, Ben, ten
years old, and a girl, Freida, as they get into mischief in a country setting, not much unlike a Huckleberry
Finn world. Written in the third person, with a noticeable lack of any dialogue, the story sets you back in
fields of grass, out by the old train tracks, rolling down bumpy dirt roads, and facing decisions kids make
when adult supervision is, well, out of town on business. Naive to the dangers that lurk in the world,
Ben and Freida manage to create their own reality by being who they are – good people not looking to
hurt anyone. By being young and innocent, they avoid the dangers that may have been present. I
believe the message here is that although “bad people” exist, if you are good to all people in an honest
way, most people will be good to you – we all have many sides to our values and integrity.
Six Great Short Stories go on with a well developed Captain Lime, a dialogue laced “Shiver-me-timbers”
Pirate story of epic proportions set in the damp days of 1576. Starting with a shipwreck, this story takes
you on an adventure like Johnny Depp did with Pirates of the Caribbean, progressing so quickly that it’s
like a Disneyland ride. “Aye, matie, errrr.”
His stories are diverse and imaginative. His style is straightforward, often a bit repetitive in name
articulation of characters instead of using pronouns, but that’s his “signature.” Each story starts with a
very intriguing lead and builds character development quickly.
Each story has its own voice, and as such is written in a changed galley text format. The interesting
layout of his work lends itself to enjoying the book, by having oversized type pitch with varying fonts
making it a pleasure to your eyes. Robert M. de la Torre takes a casual approach towards his
presentation, more reminiscent of personal manuscripts than mass produced literature. I found his
work to be original, intriguing and by all accounts entertaining. His short story entitled, Jack Sleeps in
the Park, was so kind and loving I sensed the sentiments of the author becoming revealed. Having a half
dozen discrete stories makes this a good book to bring with you while traveling, or having by your
bedside table, being able to pick up, finish a story and take a break. Although the “next story” is upon
you so quickly that you just might need to postpone your “break” until the end of the book. Bravo
Robert, Six Great Short Stories is like a half dozen roses. We’re anxiously awaiting the sequel, “Six More
Great Short Stories.”
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