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Book Review: The Hubris Of An Empty Hand

November 25, 2021

I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was approached about reviewing The Hubris Of An Empty Hand with an email. Writers write. I decided to write.

On first glance this book seems like a collection of short stories. And it is. There are 8 distinct stories, starting with “Tell Me More” and finishing up with “What Happened To The Spenta Story.”

But, that’s where the similarity to a collection of short stories stops. Because it’s not just a collection of short stories. It’s a collection of stories set in the same “universe,” filled with common people.

It was challenging at first and even after reading sometimes, to keep straight people and their relationships and especially their timeframe, since the stories jump backward and forward in time.

The story starts off as a contemporary story set in San Francisco. However, the story quickly descends into madness. But, it’s a carefully mapped out madness. Author Mahyar A. Amouzegar weaves a series of interconnected stories that take us from San Francisco to New Orleans to ancient Persia to the Swedish Prison that exists outside of time.

Amouzegar gives us an eclectic cast of characters. We have mortals and gods. And Death turns out to be a pretty interesting guy when you get to know him.

What I Liked

The characters were genuinely interesting. And by mixing point-of-view, we see both the inside of a character’s head and also what other people see. He plants a seed in the first story that we loop back to dozens or even hundreds of pages later. It makes for a fascinating read. And the details! Amouzegar goes into great detail on food. I almost feel I could cook some of the meals, he describes them in such detail. And I have this feeling that if I understood the history and culture of Persia better, the story would mean even more.

What I Didn’t

While the story was well laid out, occasionally, I got lost. This is not a book that should be read causually. It must be read deliberately. And because Amouzegar plays the capricious narrator, dropping in and out of people’s point-of-view, the reader gets the feeling that the author has a secret and is only showing glimpses at a time to tease the reader.

What It Means To You

Definitely an engaging story. If you enjoy stories about gods playing in the lives of humans, you’ll like The Hubris Of An Empty Hand. If you have time to devote to it and if you enjoy a thoughtprovoking tale, the book is well worth the attention. And, you will learn the personal side of Death, his favorite drink, and who he hangs out with.

My Rating

Three out of four stars

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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