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The Sadness of Beautiful Things By Simon Van Booy

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Most of the tales in this engrossing collection of short stories are based on true stories told to Van Booy over the course of his travels. Some have a hint of science-fiction about them, like one about a husband and wife who've become afraid of their daughter after a mysterious accident involving a pair of VR glasses. In contrast, the opening story about a bedraggled family saved from ruin by a mysterious benefactor reads like a fable overheard in an Irish pub on a rainy day, full of loves lost and sideways unraveling. As a whole, the collection is both moody and poignant and calls to be read sitting by a fire with a whiskey close at hand.

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