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Amidst Traffic (Short Stories) [Kindle Edition]

Michel Sauret
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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  • Length: 338 pages
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Book Description

If you love smart, intellectual fiction, this book is for you!

From an old man collecting drinking straws three at a time, to a pair of Chicago drug addicts faring poorly in their attempt to raise a child, nearly everyone involved in this collection of connected stories cannot shake the feeling that something bigger than themselves is going on.

Every story is crafted with strong writing and a love for humanity.

Moving from diners to gas stations, from urban apartments to the war in Iraq, these stories tackle the question of faith in desperate times. Lost, struggling characters look for meaning.

And yet, the topic of faith is handled with literary class, without insulting the reader with preachy tones. Just honest, compelling stories reside inside.

The prose is literary and poetic. The characters are so real, you can't help but feel their struggles.

Fate and free will are called into play. There are visionaries who can predict tragedy before it strikes. And there are visionary hunters who stand on the edge of manipulating their power. There's a man who inexplicably digs a hole in his back yard to escape nightmares, and a woman who tattoos words on her body, and a man who thinks his shoes are talking to him.

Everything is connected.

While many of the characters and their actions can come across random, chaotic or ordinary, as their stories begin to intersect, they lead to greater questions about life and who is in control of it. How do we reconcile the chaos of the world with a faith in God? These stories explore the answers and the questions that drive them.

Grab this AWARD WINNING book today!

Product Description

About the Author

Michel Sauret earned the title of Army Journalist of the Year for his writing in Iraq with the Army Public Affairs in 2008. His writing has been published internationally, and his short story "Lost in the Night" appeared in the anthology, "Best New Writing, 2008." Michel was born in Rome, Italy, and is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh's English Writing department. He published his first novel, "Breathing God," at the age of 19, and has been serving as a public affairs specialist and journalist for the U.S. Army since 2004.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 750 KB
  • Print Length: 338 pages
  • Publisher: One Way Street Production (28 Oct. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009YEQ91W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #818,503 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This collection takes 22 different short stories, told by a range of different characters with very different concerns and beliefs, and slowly weaves them into a wider whole. This review is of the renewed edition.

The stories cover a range of characters, from young children to the elderly, from drug-addicted mothers to unremarkable singletons. Although each narrative is fully immersed in the events of its protagonist, there are some common themes: many of the stories feature how a person might react to receiving a unique message about the world, ranging from believing it to be the voice of God to fighting to regain a perception of sanity; several stories raise the question of whether seeking to perform a task well is good in and of itself, or if hard work is only good if it is also done for a worthwhile purpose.

A few of the stories are very short, and either lack a strong character challenge or leave their arc unfulfilled, so do not stand well on their own. However, when read in the context of the wider narrative they provide both depth and breadth. This dependency makes the collection more suitable to reading in the fashion of a novel rather than dipped in and out of over a longer period.

Although there is this philosophical aspect to the stories, both individually and as a whole, it does not take precedence over the characters and stories themselves, making it something the reader can consider further or leave as merely an aspect of a particular character's arc.

The characters are fully realised, and are from a range of backgrounds. While some of the characters are strongly Christian or atheist, this often provides them with greater issues than characters of less firm beliefs.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Excecuted and Gripping 15 July 2013
By Ruby
Format:Kindle Edition
**Review By Ruby From The Nerd Girl Page**

*This Book Was Given To Me In Exchange For An Honest Review*

Well what can I say? I loved Amidst Traffic! What's it about? It's hard to sum up something that contains so much, but I shall do my best.

It is a beautifully executed collection of short stories. Ordinarily short stories upset me; I always want more. I want to know what happens next and I want to know what happened before. And yet here, as I was plucked from one character's life and hurled into another's, instead of feeling short-changed by the shifting scenery I felt eager to look around. You see, each individual narrative is cleverly linked by an invisible thread to another. Everything it seems, is connected. Reading the collection was like enjoying a single novel about `life' from multiple view points and I really enjoyed it.

It felt to me at some points as if I had been caught up by the butterfly effect and at end it was as if I had somehow become a distant observer of human life. I caught flashes of the good and the bad in us people; our mistakes and our triumphs. The mundane and the extraordinary were brought home together by the dramatic momentum. Some of these stories made me think, some made me happy, others sad and some just had me in fits of laughter!

Through the window of `Amidst Traffic' you see the beauty and the hardship of living through the eyes of more characters than I could count. If you're a greedy reader like me, this will fill you up!

**Review has been done in conjunction with Nerd Girl Official.
For more information regarding our reviews please visit our Fansite: [...] ***
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5.0 out of 5 stars "The pond was deeper than its size suggested." 9 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
'Amidst Traffic' is, without any hesitancy at all, the most interesting book this reader has experienced this year. It is deeply philosophical and psychological fiction, taking a careful and always critical look at people and situations we usually dismiss with a cursory glance every day. We might also call it "Visionary Fiction."

Many of the characters in this collection are visionaries: prophets in their own ways - some forces for good, some forces for evil. These stories are remarkable for their examination of "the big questions" in very unusual ways. They are not easy stories. We find alter egos and a cacophony of voices just this side of schizophrenia.

We meet:

Trevor who actually hears voices and defies a bank robber in 'A Voice With Reason;'

Eli and Charles who, unbeknownst to either of them, share similar obsessions in 'Three Straws' "So he went on until the pain was too much, which was better than anxiety, and the hole grew deeper."

Myron, his introduction to Iraq, and his attempt to witness to his fellow soldiers in 'Blessed Are the War People.'

We see:

Lyonya and her tattoos, as she observes the shadowy narrator in the title story: 'Amidst Traffic' from her window, as she contemplates "How could she make her boy love her? How could she make him the central focus of her life and purpose?"

The Pizza man, Bobby Black and Dante as "... maybe the cars sweeping by just dragged the air behind them, carrying lives and voices along. Melodies and furies..." as they shoot a hapless pigeon on their quest for the source of a strange hum: "All of it clean. All of it a bit too shiny for a game of attrition and muddy shoes to have played the night before. " in 'Tin Can Mind.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  44 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creative, different and worth a read! 19 Nov. 2012
By Joleen - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Yes, this is a 5 star book.
There is no specific main character in the book to talk about, as it is a collection of short stories. Some seem odd, but still very interesting and imaginative. Some of them leave you hanging, but eventually they come together and a more complete picture emerges as the stories blend. It's like a glimpse of what what WE see compared to what the GOD sees... We see happy bits, sad bits, and bits of what doesn't make sense at times in the stories of our lives, but God sees it all as blending to one creative story He's putting together.
This next paragraph is no longer necessary, as the author edited his book to make it more reader-friendly.
<<<The author mentions, before the book starts, that we may be a bit surprised at the profanity used in some of the stories. Yes, it made me wince a few times, but we've all watched R-rated movies and know this is how the world talks, and the characters he uses in some of the stories just wouldn't get away with saying, "Gosh, could you flippin put that down?" It's just plain realistic>>>
One of the characters in some of the stories is an Army journalist, as is the author. You get to see this character face some tough stuff and work out what he needs to get through it.
Michel Sauret is a creative author, there's no denying it, and this book shows that creativity in abundance. I actually went back and re-read many of the stories to refresh my memory as to why they related to the one I was reading at the time. It was actually just as fun the second time as the first.
Read it. I can't see how you'd be disappointed!
Oh, and by the way, I did NOT get this book free, nor have I ever met the author. It was a suggested reading and boy, was I glad for the suggestion. I did, however, get the new edition free from the author for review, and loved it all over again. Not having to wince as I read it was a plus!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly Crafted Stories of Life 31 Dec. 2012
By Grampy - Published on
"Amidst Traffic" by Michel Sauret signals the arrival of a new name in contemporary literature. In this excellent publication, Michel showcases a remarkable talent for word-crafting. He paints with words, recreating the entire range of human emotions in the reader's mind. On the surface, Amidst Traffic is a short story anthology. In depth, it is much more than that. Somehow Michel has managed to tie an eclectic assortment of seemingly unrelated short stories into a comprehensive look at the human condition. Most of the tales in this volume have a familiar ring to them, for the simple reason that they reflect real life in a fundamental way. Each story makes you care about its characters. Awesome, overwhelming, breathtaking, tremendous, remarkable, astounding... my thesaurus is - dare I say it? - at a loss for words to adequately describe this must-read work of life-reflecting fiction.

Twenty-two short stories make up this anthology. Yet, those same twenty-two short stories also make up one story... the story of common, every-day life: its creation, its depravity, its fears, its loves, its heartaches. Michel does more than just posit questions, however. He dares to explain, to suggest answers, to offer hope. One of the more consequential days of my life was the day I received a package from Michel Sauret, containing a copy of this book, with a request that I provide an honest, unbiased review. It was not only a privilege to review this book; it was a privilege to read it. This one is going to a prominent position on my bookshelf. I cannot duly convey the sense of urgency with which I recommend this exceptional book.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Different in the best way possible 13 Jan. 2013
By Tim - Published on
To say this book is amazing is an understatement. I've never read a book by an indie author before and I was pleasantly surprised by my first exposure to such literature. Amidst Traffic is a collection of short fiction stories taken directly from Michel Sauret's best work over the years. Each character bleeds into another story and with the slightest of mind blowing connections.

I honestly did not know what to expect when I first started reading this book however it became very hard to put down. It's not an easy book to explain but I could rave about Amidst Traffic nonstop. This is the first book I've read in quite some time that consumed me. One of my favorite chapters was Clouds in the Water. The visuals I got towards the end were mesmerizing and made me realize just how talented Michel Sauret is.

This book gets a 10/10 review from me for not only the quality of the book but also the value. I did receive a complimentary paperback copy for review purposes but $8.26 is a more than fair price for what you're getting.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and real 24 April 2013
By Seth Talbert - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
I'm typically a reader of long stories and relegate short stories to pull up around Halloween. I do like stories that are very real and that's what draws me to these short stories. There is a realism that makes each of the short stories interesting but what I really enjoyed is how they all start to string together so when you're at the end of them all it gives a completeness that is hard to obtain skillfully with a compilation of short stories.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing Collection of Stories 1 April 2013
By Evie - Published on
Amidst Traffic is a collection of twenty-two short stories written by Michel Sauret. Each powerful story stands alone, but eventually it becomes apparent that they are interconnected. Even though the subject matter varies from story to story, there are some commonalities which include introspection of the characters, a need for order and the search for answers.

All the stories are memorable. The first is Three Straws . Short order cook, Eli, is plagued by dreams of disfigured children chasing him. Unable to sleep, he begins digging a hole on his property. Exhausted, he finally sleeps but this is temporary. In the title story, Amidst Traffic, a young woman covers herself with unconventional tattoos which consist of words and phrases-the significance of which she no longer remembers. After much thought, I found the most poignant story to be When The Knife Opened. A young man with a knife on a New York City subway comes close to a life changing event.

This is a superbly written anthology. Mr. Sauret is a gifted writer who has a keen understanding of the human condition. Flawed and complex characters, originality and thought provoking themes make for fascinating reading. This is a collection that can be read more than once.

I received this book free of charge through Review The Book and I give this review of my own free will.
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