Adventures of a Lifetime
by M. Lawrence Moore
Blueprint Press

"The stories were powerful, however, and he did not think it wise to break the silence and the mood that surrounded them."

Story after story in this riveting collection surprises and thrills with myriad characters and conflict. Many of the stories are centered around courtroom dramas or domestic entanglements that illuminate the struggles of everyday people seeking truth and consequences in their complex lives. Authority figures abound within the structures of each story. Parents, grandparents, judges, detectives, and teachers serve as the axis around which the action moves. The result is a diverse collection that explores a variety of relationships and a maelstrom of adventures. Every story is a whirlwind of wonder and wisdom.

The book opens with a tale of doubt and agitation and offers a probing question that many parents ask themselves: “have [I] instructed my children properly.” This same worry arises in another piece about a boy who offers an unexpected gift to his grandmother when he makes the morally right decision to give shoes to a boy who insults him. He responds with a peace offering instead of the violent act people expect from him. Many of the stories turn on an unexpected outcome like a case dismissed in court at the actions of a clever lawyer or discovered evidence that breaks a case wide open. All the stories attest to the uncertainty of life and the power of individuals to influence others and impact lives for good and bad.

The author warns readers, in the spirit of Twain, to not look for the traditional literary elements of a story: plot, theme, or character development. Perhaps, the stories are designed simply to entertain, but readers won’t be able to deny the aspects of human nature observed and imparted through the actions and choices of these characters that Moore has set loose in the world. With precision and insight, the author has used many different kinds of conflicts to generate tension which often puts a spotlight on injustice. With no shortage of intriguing characters, the stories move along with ease as people face difficulties and search for solutions. From passing a bar exam to proving one’s innocence to making peace with rivals and seeking closure, each story showcases Moore’s versatility as a writer and storyteller. At times, the stories meander purposefully as scenes change and time shifts. This stylistic choice adds to the ambiguities of the collection and leaves the reader room to move inside each tale, gleefully aimless, which Twain would probably admire.

These are stories of people seeking justice, confirmation, and perspective in their wide-ranging lives and endeavors. Bonds between children and parents, teachers and students, friends and neighbors are tested and often fortified in hope and redemption. Throughout the collection, Moore writes with freedom and abandon and displays a keen understanding of the judicial system, family relationships, and fragmented parts of our society. These narratives are revelatory and entertaining as they ricochet from one conflict to the next, never giving the promise of an ending. True to the short story format, the tales offer glimpses into the lives of their players, whose stories will keep unfurling even as readers turn away to look to the next adventure.

Return to USR Home