Today’s wordsmiths too often celebrate a paucity of sentiment in their writings, as if that sweet tasting, very human trait belies and obfuscates man’s anxious condition in this brutish world. Quite the contrary, the hopefulness and refined feelings associated with fresh-air altruism and the demanding activism, generated by a heart needled with sorrow, define civilization as we know it and, more importantly, desire it.
Paul Steven Stone in his book, How To Train A Rock, uses various emotional versions of informed sentiment in his short insightful essays and affecting mini fictions to great ends. He does this with diverting humor and an edge, albeit a gentle edge. There is nothing squishy or maudlin here. Stone’s pieces range from the absurdly jocular to the profoundly sad, to the upliftingly lyrical. His tone is consistent and wondrous. In short he knows what he’s doing. For more of my review go here.