(Review by C. A. Taylor)
One of the best parts of my job as a publishing service-provider via Middle Island Press is that my clients sometimes send me copies of other books that they’ve published elsewhere. Such is the case with Todd Millick, author of Short and Sweet published by Middle Island Press, who recently sent me a copy of his first book of prose titled Nasty, Brutish and Short: Lessons and Laughs from an Overseas Officer.
(Continuing with my review at Amazon.com…)
I immediately felt the “funny” and consider this book to be genuinely healing in that sense. I feel so good when I read these stories, two or three at a time with my morning coffee. Though this book has a masculine “feel” and would appeal mostly to men, it appealed to me as well, and if my dad were still alive and residing in a VA hospital, I’d surely send him a copy of this book to help him recover from the inside out.
The title is a bit harsh, imo, to the reality of the stories in this collection. Yes, the well-traveled author is in touch with reality, and his accounts are complete with observations of crude and strange human behaviors in places like Bulgaria and Egypt, but the stories are intelligent lessons in geography; they are travel insights with a witty narrator who happens to have been a governmental “insider” who adds interesting tidbits such as telltale signs of whether or not countries have joined the EU. Recycle bins? Chances are, they’re in.
Most amusing to me are the author’s accounts of taxi drivers and drivers in general in Cairo. He claims that one cannot simply jump in a cab and expect that the driver knows how to get to one’s destination. One must, in most cases, tell the cab drivers where to turn, and if their horn quits working, they just might suffer a major internal crisis with a lack of “voice” on the road.
These and similar stories make for a delightful overall read. I’d recommend this book to pretty much anyone. Pick up a copy of Nasty, Brutish and Short at Amazon.com.