In this collection of short stories Michael Tabor examines the lives of not only a diverse collection of people, but of places. The Lost Heifetz and Other Stories examines love, loss, and hope in a way that show just how many sides there are to a story. Tabor is a writer who produces captivating characters from all walks of life and this collection has something for every reader.
I would be remiss to not discuss the title, and first story, in the collection, “The Lost Heifetz.” A man with a love of music, especially pieces performed on the violin, meets an exceptional performer who has long been thought dead. In this heart wrenching story Tabor details the story of a young Jewish man who found a way to survive World War II, but lost so much along the way. This acts as the perfect introduction to the rest of the collection as it emphasizes the secrets that are hidden beneath the surface of every person’s identity. As this is such an exceptionally well done work, I am forcing myself to choose just two of my favorites to highlight, beyond the introductory story, but each of Tabor’s stories is full of surprises and interesting characters.
In “The Show Never Stops” readers are transported to a theater where the people and objects inside each have their own hidden story. It begins by creating a character of the mirror above the bar, who reveals he believes if he were not a mirror he would be a playwright. The story then moves on to examine the bartender, the theater critic, the stage, the woman selling ice, and even the Gents. There are more characters discussed, but the Gents struck me as the most inventive. Tabor is presenting the men’s room as a character that has ambitions and desires. It was a delightfully unexpected element to find within this clever piece.
My absolute favorite story from The Lost Heifetz and Other Stories is “What Really Happened to Dorian Gray.” I love the original story, but Tabor’s retelling focuses not on Dorian, but instead on Sybil Vane. The young woman, who in Oscar Wilde’s original is reported dead by suicide, has secretly lived an entire life, in which she grew as an actress and waited for the perfect moment to confront Dorian. After spending a brief moment alone with his portrait, Sybil inadvertently triggered the dark journey the wicked and seemingly immortal man took. Though he had already been tinged by cruelty the painting became something so much more to him and Sybil leads a life preparing herself to exact vengeance again him and those who worshipped him. By allowing Sybil to be the voice of this story Tabor created an exceptional character from within the frame of the original work.
The Lost Heifetz and Other Stories is a fantastic read and I strongly recommend it as a work that will appeal to a variety of readers. You can find it on sale now.
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