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Maladjusted by Derek Hayes

The Maladjusted is an anthology of short stories by new writer Derek Hayes. I don’t read a lot of short stories, but I average at least a couple of these kind of books a year. I like the format, but I prefer novels since I like to get invested in the characters and follow them along. A good short story usually hooks you in quickly to be attached. There isn’t much time to drag out your indifference. I found most of the stories in this book fairly interesting. The settings usually had a good amount of detail.

The author is based in Toronto and many of the stories are set in the city. While I have not lived in Toronto, I’ve been there and know many people from there. The stories do capture the sense of the city, its people, and a certain Canadian urbanity.

The stories I liked were the eponymous “The Maladjusted”, “A Wonderful Holiday” set in Vietnam
“A Feel for America” set in Taipei, and “Shallowness”. I like travel stories so I liked the details in those set abroad. Hayes has an attention for smell which is interesting as well.

All in all, I’ll be interested if the author writes a full length novel since I think the writing shows promise. I recommend this for Torontonians and other urban Canadians especially.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author. I was not paid for this post and all views expressed are mine alone and not influenced by the author or publisher. For more on my review policy, please see and contact me here.

Read May 13th, 2012.

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