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An Idaho farmer who aches for absolution after a tragedy is given one more chance at redemption. Two runaways cross paths in a Tennessee bus station with only one ticket between them. A family sees looters racing toward their home as they escape an Oregon wildfire. A young couple takes a reckless turn off a state highway in Utah and find themselves in a nightmarish government biohazard area.
These and 46 more shorts make up an anthology that will surprise readers with each new thought-provoking story as they skip across different genres, moods, and states of mind. Together, they provide a character-driven sampling of the American experience over the last 60 years — the kind and the cruel, the heroic and criminal — in unpredictable and suspenseful ways.
50 States is a debut collection of short stories that captures the human condition and how perception shapes destiny. The book spans several literary genres, with each short story set in a different state across America. It broke into the top 100 bestsellers for literary fiction short stories on Amazon for three consecutive months in 2022 and won first place for short stories in the Spring 2022 BookFest Awards.
The author continues to receive high praise from editorial reviewers and interest from a growing community of readers who wonder how the author will continue his work.
Artisan Book Reviews
The immersive short story collection, 50 States by Richard R Becker is a creative mosaic of human experiences, thought-provoking tales and psychologically thrilling short stories, all which draw from the lives of average Americans and spans decades of recent history.
A dying widow in Pennsylvania learns the value of letting go, a 1971 teachers’ strike brings together two students, one has a dark, tragic past, a farmer’s broken life is restored in Idaho, a father’s past mistakes continues to haunt a family in Vermont, and an unlikely hero saves a child in Alaska. These stories, and more, skillfully depict some amazing experiences and unusual events that have occurred across the United States of America.
From state to state, the collection takes its audience on an emotional journey that highlights its characters’ humanity. It tackles important topics such as racism, sexual assault, depression, and suicide, with thoughtfulness and weaves them brilliantly into the average American’s life. The collection is filled with suspense. It showcases different types of characters and human experiences; some characters are heroes, others are vindictive but all are trying to survive despite their circumstances. The highly charged stories include arresting action scenes. Some stories feature entertaining, extraordinary incidents which include haunted homes, mythical creatures, and otherworldly events. The stories are also told with humor and they have surprising conclusions. Becker’s writing is precise. The writing is expressive and clear and each story is captivating, enthralling and entertaining. The collection moves beyond stereotypical beliefs which are normally attached to each state. It creates unique stories which portray the similarities between Americans’ individual experiences regardless of which state the characters live in.
50 States by Richard R Becker is a unique, outstanding short story collection all set in the United States of America and that examines human motives, habits, and human interaction. Author, Richard R Becker does an incredible job of highlighting the everyday struggles that ordinary Americans face no matter which state they reside in. Readers will love its clever plots, authentic characters, and its rich, descriptive and vivid scenes. Artisan Book Reviews highly recommends the award winning 50 States by Richard R Becker.
Book review by Edith Emunah for Artisan Book Reviews. Rating 5/5.
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Artisan Book Reviews awards 50 States by Richard R Becker first place in our
2021 ABR Book Excellence Awards Contest.
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