English teachers across the nation rejoice! There is now a book
for dissection and analysis that rivals Shakespeare and Hemingway.
Mark Hostutler's collection of short stories will challenge
intellectually. If a challenge makes you happy, then happiness lies
Hostutler's skill at describing the surroundings of the characters
leave you reaching for your thesaurus. If you don't like to be challenged
what you read, however, this book is not for you.
Crossroads consists of seven short stories and a small introduction by
The introduction sets the tone for this piece of fiction. All of
the stories are
well-written, complete works. A problem many authors have in
short works of fiction is
having a definite start, middle, and end.
Hostutler does not have this
As I read, it felt as though as I was getting a glimpse of the
lives by seeing them through a window. His characters -- from the
Peter, at a bedside vigil with his dying father, to Shawn Justis, the
criminal living his life in a jail no one knows how to get to, and no
can escape from -- almost seem like an old friend that I need to
This isn't a quick read due to the high level of English vocabulary
but it is an interesting one. Some of the descriptions are very poetic. I can
see English Literature classes
analyzing this book in a decade or so, and I think
that's what Hostutler was
thinking when he wrote it.