The Other Side is a work of seven stories that comprise the debut collection from E. Thomas Finan, currently a lecturer at the University of Miami. Published by The Fieldnor Press in 2010, The Other Side treats various poignant moments in the lives of its characters. Finan experiments with a variety of voices and styles in bringing his characters to life and, because he is a strong writer with a talent for dialogue, he mostly succeeds.
My favorite story of the collection was, "Motley Black," which follows Jay, recently jilted and running from memory, as he leaves his home in San Francisco and travels by bus to Key West, where he hopes to begin the next chapter of his life. Anyone who has ever travelled by bus will appreciate the cast of well-drawn characters that Jay meets along the way, and it is obvious that Finan is writing from experience.
Others that scored points with me were the existentialist "Lucy di Sartoria," the obsessive "An Aria of Windrows," and the supernatural story, "The Other Side.". Overall, I found Finan's collection familiar and readable, with characters that elicit sympathy and make a connection with the reader. And I'm looking forward to more of Finan in the future.