Nuggets: Short Story Treasures
by Al Burrelli

"He lifted her pillow from under her head. He placed it over her face and pressed down on it, first softly and then with increasing force."

Al Burrelli’s short stories run the gamut from young love to darkness and despair, but they always illuminate the human condition, as well as the myriad successes and travails that can occur in life. The stories are short and deliver their point quickly, so the reader can be satisfied at each conclusion. The stories are mostly set in New York, such as in the middle of Manhattan, or in a public park, but some are set in more unusual places, such as a log cabin or a fancy manor.

The author, who died at the age of 81, was a prolific writer and was awarded a literary prize for one of his short stories called "The Bride Wore Red." While most of his stories have a dark undertone, this by no means it takes away from the quality of the writing and passion with which these stories are written. Pieces of note include "Pillow Talk," about a husband who smothers his wife with a pillow in her bedroom when she discovers he is having an affair. "My Brother’s Keeper" is about two friends, one white and the other black, and the betrayal that leaves the black friend dying in a hospital. Last but not least, "The Hunter" is about a man who sets his heart on killing the grizzly who took his brother's life, but when they finally come face to face with each other, they both decide to forgive and go their own way. This is a great collection of well-written stories to be enjoyed in one sitting.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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