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Book Review: My Life and Other Lies: Tales from the Writer’s List by Steve Pitt

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There are some people who can tell stories. They have the unique ability to take the reader with them on a journey. The rare gift to take words and turn them into images, vivid and alive.

Steve Pitt is just that kind of writer, with vibrant imagery, a keen sense of humor and the talent to turn the most inappropriate subject matter into a no-holds-barred laugh riot. You'll kick yourself for laughing, but laugh you will. Again and again. I have the bruised shins to prove it.

In My Life and Other Lies: Tales from the Writer's List Steve Pitt has created a collection of stories that are amusing, poignant and sometimes embarrassingly funny. The kind of stories that make you cringe, squirm, and laugh out loud. No subject is sacred under his rapier pen. From taking a blind date to a strip club to trying to hide from a neighbor after accidentally assaulting him with an out of control boomerang, Pitt's book of faux pas is a delightfully humorous read.

The writing is reminiscent of other notable (mainly American) raconteurs, although there is a distinctly Canadian perspective that adds a certain sense of the foreign and exotic to this collection of worldly observations — or would, if Canada was considered foreign and escargot was considered exotic. Pitt displays an ability to weave wit, humor and nostalgia into artful story-telling similar to the works of Garrison Keillor, the celebrated author of Lake Wobegone Days, and Jean Shepherd whose collected anecdotes eventually became the holiday classic A Christmas Story.

He follows in the fine story-telling tradition of taking situations that most of us have found ourselves in and bringing them to the worst possible conclusion. For instance: the majority of us have walked through the house in the buff without getting caught by a window-peeking neighbor, but life is not so lucky in Pitt's world of perpetual bad-timing. And the results are hilarious.

Steve Pitt's articles have been published in newspapers and magazines for thirty years. He's won the Periodical Distributors Author's Award for humor. His first book, Rain Tonight: A Tale of Hurricane Hazel, was nominated for the Silver Birch, Rocky Mountain and Red Cedar awards.

My Life and Other Lies is a collection of stories created from Pitt's days on writer's lists, stories written for other writers that have made him a beloved favorite amongst his peers. We now have the joy of sharing in his oftentimes self-deprecating, sometimes crude (depending on your opinion of doggie digestive indiscretions), yet always delightful tales of life in the Great White North.

My Life and Other Lies would be a great addition to any humor collection, and it's an excellent reminder to all writers that short stories are one of our most often over-looked opportunities, the chance to tell our stories, spin our yarns and lay claim to our esprit d'escalier before it fades into oblivion.

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