A Simplified Map of the Real World

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Member Reviews

I had no idea what to expect at any point through this book. The perfectly dysfunctional characterizations were almost too far-fetched, but they were so human - I know some of these people. There's no clear direction to the text, but that's where the magic comes in: the hodge-podge of people that we meet are all inextricably related - it was like a historical treasure hunt. I really enjoyed this read.
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This collection of shorts is so cohesive it practically reads like a novel! It's rare to find an author who makes characters of either gender equally intriguing and real, kudos to Stevan Allred and his Pinewood Table for acing that.  I loved everything about the town and inhabitants of Renata, their voices and stories, and the way so many of these characters get what they deserve. Laurie Paus's illustrations are a brilliant fit between the pieces; and my only edit would be to move the map at the very end, to the very front (maybe that's where it is in the print version, but not in the digital copy I got from NetGalley).
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This book was an anomaly for me because I don't usually read short stories.  However this was a very good collection because the characters sometimes ran through several different stories as they all took place in the small town of Rannata Oregon.  These are people we all could know and either love or hate. They could be our neighbor, our pastor, our teacher or even us.  It is very well thought out and written.  The town could be anywhere U.S.A.  Good read!
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Allfred spun a beautiful tale in A Simplified Map of the Real World. I would like to read more of the author's books after this.
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