Can’t You Hear the Whistle Blowing? Review
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Bill MacWithey has come through for me once more in this anthology of short stories and poems. I laughed and alternately cried as I read my way from cover to cover.

I became a fan of Bill’s when I read, and reviewed his book, Maybell’s Revenge. I was delighted to discover a shorter version of this amazingly good story in this collection.

To begin, “Dead Letters” is a story sure to spark emotions in all of us when we think of our own soldiers fighting in Iraq. It tells of four generations of servicemen and how each one left behind a letter to a son as they gave their lives in battle.

Stories such as "The Janitor” snatch me from my morose feelings and pitch me into the realm of possibilities. It is the story of George, a janitor at NASA, who befriends and plays matchmaker to two young people there, Adam, and his girlfriend, Eve. George introduces them to other mysteries as well. In light of the discoveries on “Mars”, I found this story a chilling premonition of things that may come.

Another story, “The Bug that Ate Texas," made me laugh. It brought back memories of one of my favorite childhood movies, The Blob, only this “blob” was an oozing mass of bugs that fed on oil spills. The bugs were genetically altered as a way to clean up oil spills in our lakes. Soon they become a little too good at it.

“Lonesome Journey” tells of a 13 year-old boy named Bobby, who promises his dying mother that he would make something of himself when he grew up. Deserted by his father at a younger age, Bobby also promised himself to find his father and tell him what he thought of him for leaving the family. This is a heart-wrenching tale of how a young boy turns travesty into success. It empowers all who read it and restores your faith in human kindness.

Bill MacWithey covers it all in his book and left me satisfied and perplexed, soothed yet thirsting for more. "Many people," he writes, "will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.” Interspersed with poems to make you ponder and quips that will illicit laughter, this collection is a must-read.

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