cover image Seventeen Stitches

Seventeen Stitches

Sean Eads. Lethe, $20 trade paper (292p) ISBN 978-1-59021-656-9

Veteran short story author Eads brings together some inventive elements in his latest collection of tales, some of which fall painfully flat. “My Father’s Friend” follows a child stuck in a depressing time loop. “Coffin” tells of demonic possession by an otherworldly baby. In “The Seer,” Eads’s characters question the truth in prophecies. All of these works captivate, but some of the others are questionable: “Riveter” takes as its subject Eva Braun, who resurrects victims of the Holocaust through photographic technology. Even fans of alternate history and morally gray heroes will question this exoneration of a member of Hitler’s inner circle, especially one who pledged unwavering loyalty to him. There is an offensive frivolity in this particular work, and its insensitivity overwhelms and tarnishes the rest of the collection. (June)