Staff Review: "Ladies and Gentleman" stories by Adam Ross

This collection of short stories touches on the personal relationships of people on the verge of anguish and catastrophe. Ross' style is stripped-down and blunt.  In the opening story, an unemployed man is trying to mentor a young neighbor while going through the interview process for a new job.  Both end horrifically.  In another story, college friends attempt to one-up each other with stunts that only college-aged boys would consider. The lives of two brothers collide dramatically as they try to cope with the death of their parents and attempt to reconcile their differences. These are just three of the provocative stories in this collection.

While some of the endings can be predicted, all of them end with an explosive, yet very real finish. Adam Ross has a way with words that keeps you turning the pages.  But what I admired more was the fact that every story finished at just the right moment in the characters' lives. If you are a fan of the short story, this book will fit the bill.
--Keir H., Florissant Valley Branch
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