Book Review: Alone Together, by Andrew Jacoby

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Alone Together showcases three short stories that chronicle the lives of three very different men. As different as they are, I felt the stories link them together within a common thread and gives us a glimpse into a man’s psyche, the part of him not normally seen or easily understood.

The first story is about Ward, a down on his luck writer who can’t seem to get his s*%$ together, living with what most of us would call “Peter Pan syndrome”. He doesn’t want to grow up. Yet he has to “man up” after he finds himself in a situation that will change his life forever.

“New York is so strange.” Ward thought. “It’s this big city, but if you live there long enough you realize that it is a lot of little cities broken up. You have your neighborhood grocery store, your laundromat, you see the same people in the same shops all the time. But then if you look around, you also see masses of people rush by you that you will never see again.”

The second showcases Walter, a man whose wife has suffered through her second stillborn miscarriage and won’t recognize that he’s also suffering. An obvious workaholic, he uses that as his own escape from reality.

“Marie had just lost their second attempt at a child. Stillborn. The bitch of it was that she had barely gotten over the first when she found out she was pregnant again. No amount of consoling could stop her from crying….Needless to say, network security was the last thing on Walter’s mind. Yet there was something peaceful, robotic, about how he handled the meeting. The way he took the coffee he was offered…”

In the third story, we find that Hollis has forgiven his cheating girlfriend, but will it be for the last time? When he’s presented with another option in the form of high heels and a tight derriere, will he take it?

“Don’t go, Hollis,” she sobbed. “I am so sorry.” “You are not sorry, Sophia. If you were sorry, if you had any remorse, you wouldn’t have done it in the first place. I want to kill that son of a bitch and walk out on you right now. What on earth do you want me to believe? That you didn’t mean it? That it was a mistake?”

I can’t stress enough how much I enjoyed Alone Together. I don’t usually delve into short stories, but this was sweet and well-written. I found it hard not to lose myself in the believable obstacles that each character has to face, and all from a man’s perspective. I appreciate honesty in a book, and this is as honest as they come. A great read!

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