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Book Review: Amidst Traffic by Michael Sauret

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In his book Amidst Traffic, Michel Sauret skillfully weaves a collection of 22 short stories, each an independent original creation brilliantly crafted into an interconnected melding of storylines. These plot lines, as they intersect the lives of others, go on to depict the thoughtfulness and compassion for other human spirits  in the midst of commonplace experiences, distressing conflicts, and chaotic events.

Sauret has created characters who elicit empathy, concern, and hope in the midst of their anguish and grief. These compelling stories will challenge you emotionally in a way that opens your heart to the possibility and potential within us to have a dramatic, positive impact on the lives of others, a reminder that we do not live in a vacuum but in a world of a depraved humanity. Sauret describes his stories as “unraveled seams” that “mirror the inner struggles we all battle with as human beings… dark and sobering.” His writing is mysterious and complex, offering hopefulness and redemption. His images and words take form in subliminal flashes and divine intuitions.

Many of the pieces deal with theological and philosophical themes, including: the question of inner voices, the discipline of self-control, and the demons of troubling dreams which become nightmares, resulting in the exhaustion of sleeplessness. The stories contain words of encouragement that lift spirits, others that demonstrate courage in the midst of war and stories that describe anxiety without the rush and panic. The stories also contain crude language representative of the reality of the environment and culture of the characters.

In the story “Three Straws,” Eli becomes consumed with physical suffering, pain, and exhaustion in his search for release; looking for escape through death, only to discover there is no redemption in the act of doing. These stories touch the heart with poignant moments that demonstrate that hope can be grasped in the bleakest of circumstances.

Michael Sauret has crafted a unique collection of engaging symbolic poetic prose that challenges the reader to reflect on the potential impact of one life on another Amidst Traffic.

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