With the release of his fifth story collection, Shepard (You Think That’s Bad; The Book of Aron) continues to weave interlacing narrative threads that imaginatively evoke time and place. Thematically, the ten stories in this collection illuminate both the comedy and the tragedy of humanity’s tethering to the vagaries of the universe. Whether it’s soldiers marooned on a radar station in the Atlantic Ocean or the racing mind of a parent moments before a tsunami destroys Crete in 365 CE, each of the tales in this collection re-creates the human circumstances around largely forgotten events. In the title story, the author beautifully narrates a tragic love story through a series of diary entries that presage the ungovernability of both the weather and the heart’s desires. Every page is a disturbing reminder that control is a mere illusion we employ to salve our consciences. VERDICT Shepard’s ability to rotate the masks of comedy and tragedy in a single story while poetically blending fact and fiction is on full display in this collection.