REVIEWS & TESTAMONIALS
Review by THEBOOXREVIEW.COM
Neviaser's rich imagination kicks into high gear in this slight yet entertaining gaggle of shorts spawned from the author's talent for picking out and contemplating some of life's insignificances.
Indeed, Neviaser really did stumble upon a comb in a urinal one night, while out enjoying a good time with friends. As he describes it:
"After drinking an overabundance of iced tea at a late dinner with friends, I almost collided with another patron leaving the men's room as I hustled into the lavatory. It was there I noticed a comb in the bottom of the urinal next to mine. The bizarre sight of this inanimate object being present in such an unusual place haunted me for the rest of the dinner and into that night. What circumstance could possibly have led to the comb in that urinal?"
Question posed, Neviaser launches into a tidy bit of narrative fiction based on sight seen, a sort of a "rest of the story" explanation to his initial ponder.
Fifteen additional muses comprise the remainder of this lighthearted book — all of which were inspired by unusual sightings or events.
Included: The Mittens in the Tree, The Panties on the Fire Escape, The Rolling Head, The Boot on the Interstate, and a favorite, The Mattress on the Side of the Road.
Readers in the market for quieter, personal fiction will enjoy this often humorous collection.
Review by BOOKIDEAS.COM
Rating: 4 1/2 Stars out of 5
Reviewed by: John Hoh, Senior Editor
This book struck me in an odd way with its funny title.
I just had to see what it was about.
First, some words about Thomas J. Neviaser, MD. He wrote Man's Unofficial Guide to the Use of his Garage, which was reviewed on this site. That book was a joy to read, even if there was an over-dependence upon exclamation marks to make many, many fine points in that book. Dr. Neviaser took that criticism to heart and approached me with the prospect of reviewing his second book. I am glad I didn’t turn him down.
Dr. Neviaser was inspired with the idea to write this book by “stopping to smell the roses,” as it were (although any “roses” in a urinal might not smell as sweet as Shakespeare would say). Basically, Dr. Neviaser saw everyday things in odd places, jotted some notes, and wrote short stories about how that ordinary item ended in such an odd place.
To be sure one must have some imagination to do this. One must also be willing to exercise that imagination. Most people wouldn’t give two thoughts to a boot on the interstate, a parka on the subway bench, mittens in the tree, a mattress on the side of the road, a possum with toenail polish (a possum with toenail polish?), the common pothole, a camera on the piling, panties on the fire escape (well, okay, maybe us guys would be intrigued—we might even check it out!), a lost dog poster, and other such minutiae of daily life.
Dr. Neviaser begins each story with an anecdote of the item he saw. Then he delves into the tale he has dreamed up for that particular sight. The beauty of this book is that the reader does not need to read the stories sequentially. I looked at the table of contents and selected a few at first I thought would be interesting (yes, the raccoon with nail polish and the fire escape panties were early hits).
The stories also provoked me to wonder what I would have dreamed up for a scenario for each item. Not that Dr. Neviaser’s writing lacked anything. It’s just that the creative force is a contagious force. Heck, I’m sure panties on a fire escape would lead some to come up with a seamy tale of romance or forbidden love! Or the possum being a plaything for a young girl not cognizant of the dangers of playing with dead animals.
The Comb in the Urinal And Other perplexities of life is a good book for recreational reading.
I would also strongly suggest this book for college and high school creative writing classes. Teachers could have their students try to write better tales about the everyday things Dr. Neviaser saw and surmised about.
Review by TCM Reviews/ Tami Brady
Have you ever been driving along the highway and saw a discarded boot or a dead possum? Have you ever wondered if those lost pet ads ever bring a pet home safely? The Comb in the Urinal And Other Perplexities of Life serves to solve these and other mysteries.
Upon retirement, the author suddenly slowed his life pace and started noticing a lot of things that he probably never would have given a second thought to before retirement when his life was full of rushing about for work and while taking care of his family. Some people stop and smell the roses, the author started to notice odd things that were strangely out of place. He pondered on the reasons behind these weird occurrences and came up with some very clever and somewhat silly stories about how the situation came to happen.
What some of the readers have to say :
"The 'Comb in the Urinal' is delightful . The author has a marvelous sense for adventure and an absolutely wonderful sense of humor. This a a great collection of short story humor that I would highly recommend to any reader. " Rick Davis, Vienna, VA
"I simply loved reading these stories. I felt as if I was with the characters in each chapter. I only wish there were more stories." Mary Cuthbertson from Naples, FL
"One captivating story after another! The Mittens in the Tree is my favorite."
Julie Zalinski from Sterling, VA
"The author made you keep wanting to know more about the characters and made you anxious to read the next story."
Jody Jackson, Winchester, VA