Free literary fiction Kindle books for 11 Jun 18

The Good Soldier

by Ford Maddox Ford

“A Tale of Passion,” as its subtitle declares, The Good Soldier relates the complex social and sexual relationships between two couples, one English, one American, and the growing awareness by the American narrator John Dowell of the intrigues and passions behind their orderly Edwardian facade. It is the attitude of Dowell, his puzzlement, uncertainty, and the seemingly haphazard manner of his narration that make the book so powerful and mysterious. Despite its catalogue of death, insanity, and despair, the novel has many comic moments, and has inspired the work of several distinguished writers, including Graham Greene.



Childish Things: Stories of Growing Up

by Charlie Close

Stories of childhood aren’t just for children. Grown-ups need them too. Childish Things is a collection of seventeen short stories about the moments we remember all our lives.

Charlie shows us a mother’s last gift to her son, the moment a girl finally understands her father and herself, a boy who shames his best friend and tries to make amends, and a boy whose adult friend shows him that his life belongs to himself and not his parents.

Charlie gives us stories of failure and triumph, longing and friendship, struggle and fulfillment. The stories are rich in humor and empathy, arranged like a child’s year, from the first day of school in September to a campfire scene at the end of summer.

Read Childish Things and remember that some moments are special to us and live with us even now.
This book also contains a bonus story, “Burning Embers”, a comic look at these stories excerpted from another Charlie Close collection: Burning Embers and Others Stories of Marriage, Work, and Family.



REQUIEM FOR THE WEST

by Robert Trainor

NOTE: This book can also be purchased with seven other novels of mine for $3,99 in an anthology entitled Eight Novels. Requiem for the West is also contained in 5 Novels, which is another anthology of mine that sells for $2.99.

An apocalyptic poem entitled “Requiem for the West” is at the center of this tale, which has equal elements of pervasive mockery, offbeat romance, doomsday premonitions, and Dilbert-like farce.

Larry Zane is a professor of English who is appointed to a committee that is running a poetry contest where the hundred-thousand-dollar first prize will be given to the poem that most resembles “The Raven,” by Edgar Allan Poe. Also on the committee are Jaden Graves, the chain-smoking President of the college, Julian Mendoza, the sexual-predator Provost, and Mariah Rhodes, an attractive woman lawyer.

Meanwhile, as the committee becomes lost in waves of cigarette smoke, sexual innuendos, and contemptuous insults, Larry becomes disillusioned with the relationship that he has with his longtime girlfriend, Sierra Raines. Sierra is a haphephobicâ??the dictionary word for a person who is antagonistic to being touched. No hand-holding, no kissing, and certainly none of THAT. And so, with his romantic life going nowhere, Larry finds Mariah to be irresistible, while Sierra, with her love of art, music, and intelligent conversation, begins to fade away like an outdated fad.

And then, in Chapter Thirteen, “Requiem for the West” arrivesâ??a seven-hundred-word alliterative poem that makes Poe look like the author of “Reflections of an Eternal Optimist.” The committee can hardly be blamed for excessively bad behavior after attempting to come to terms with the fireball conclusion of “Requiem.” Poetry isn’t supposed to be like this! No one wants to read a crescendo of catchy alliterations that have them, quite literally, being fried to a crisp.

As the committee totally disappears in a cloud of cigarette smoke and a monster coughing attackâ?¦as Larry agonizes over his conflicted feelings for Sierra and Mariahâ?¦as the world staggers through one crisis after anotherâ?¦as the nuclear weapons pile up like thunderclouds on a hot summer dayâ?¦

Finally, by the end of this tumultuous tour through Dilbert and Doomsday, Larry is led down the path that he has always been seeking, while Sierraâ?¦well, that’s another story. But for the author of “Requiem,” the vision is, as Poe once wrote after he had fallen into one of his many horrific depressions, “the destruction of all things by fire.”



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