This is actually quite an interesting collection of short stories by Jon Gresham. The author contacted me via GoodReads and told me about his new book after I gave a 5 star review for "From the Belly of the cat" where one of his stories was featured. He sent me an autographed copy which I finished within a week. (It was pretty good.)
I must admit that I was a bit underwhelmed by the first story, "We rose up slowly" but gradually warmed up to the rest of the book, which got better and better, ending with a rather satisfying "A fleeting tenderness at the end of the night" which took its cue from a recent event that happened in Singapore.
I found that the magical realism in the titular story a little hard to follow and relate to. The rest of the stories had quite a bit of local flavour (very impressed since the author grew up overseas) and more relatable characters. My favourite short story has got to be "A girl and a guy in a Kijang in Kemang" for many reasons and partly because it had a story within the story. Kinda like Inception if you think about it.
This is pretty good writing and I could feel myself drawn into almost every story. Gresham has a knack of making the characters and plots believable yet throwing in a touch of the supernatural (in some stories), or a hint of vengeance (in others). It's almost as if he were writing about himself. I find myself wanting to ask him how much of it was taken from real life and how much from his imagination. Haha.
This is an excellent book for the busy Singaporean who might not have time for a full-length novel. Each story can probably be finished within the length of the time it takes to travel to work. I would also recommend it as a gift for birthdays because it a refreshing breath of fresh air in the local scene. It certainly was for me. After too many gay poetry collections (I am actually quite partial to them) and gritty local novels, this bunch of short stories is an excellent read.
I believe you can buy the book at Books Actually and I look forward to future works by this author.
Disclaimer: The author sent me a copy of his book in exchange for an honest review.