Blurb: Three young boys on a collision course: Albert Sterne – isolated, driven and fiercely intellectual; Fletcher Ash – bright, dedicated and with a strong sense of justice; John Garrett – hurt, marginalised and determined to do to the world exactly what the world has done to him. The eleven short stories in this companion volume continue and expand on the lives of the characters from the same author’s outstandingly popular The Definitive Albert J. Sterne, which should preferably be read first.
Genre: gay fiction; contemporary; drama; stories
Word count: 61,000
Click here for an excerpt of text, and here for the reviews.
Awards: First in LadyM’s Top Books for 2012 in the Guest Reviewer’s Top Picks for 2012 on Reviews by Jessewave.
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The stories in this volume have also been incorporated in the paperback edition of The Definitive Albert J. Sterne.
Gosh! Albert’s companion volume has received some very flattering attention indeed! Thank you all for welcoming back the dear old curmudgeon.
Conclusion: All in all, this book was magnificent and you’ll want to read more.
Conclusion: This collection of stories was certainly more emotional than the novel, since it revolves more around characters’ lives than the plot about a serial killer. It has been a while since I’ve enjoyed a writer’s style so much, unobtrusive and yet clearly capable of conveying Albert’s losses, Garrett’s hatred, Fletcher’s love. The stories added the facets of their private lives successfully deepening our overall understanding of their characters. If you read The Definitive Albert J. Sterne, this collection is a must read. If you didn’t, I wholeheartedly recommend both books to you. Both the novel and the stories are great addition to this genre and the complexity of the characters alone recommend them to anyone who enjoys reading.
Currently 31 ratings, 13 reviews and an average of 4.55 stars.
- Aussie54 gave it 5 stars, and said: Reading about Fletcher and his family was a joy. … It was hard to put my eReader down! I couldn’t wait to see what happened with Fletcher and Albert (even re-reading the first Albert along with this second book was compelling …).
- Silver Iris gave it 5 stars, and said: I’m not sure I can describe just how much I love Albert & Ash. These short stories that are snippets into their lives beyond the novel were fantastic. I want to see more into their future.
An excerpt from the story The Rending of Cloth (New York City, October 1952). The child Albert grieves for his murdered parents.
Albert’s early childhood was mostly vague impressions. The love between his parents, and their love for Albert, was strong and constant and inviolate. But none of them were ever very demonstrative, there were never any displays of sentiment. The love was simply there as the foundation of everything they did, all the choices they made, the way they kept company only with each other, the scrupulous care taken to ensure that Albert had everything he needed to grow into everything he could be.
There were hazy moments he could remember. Albert, curled up in his father’s lap, listening to Rebecca’s calm voice tell the story of an old friend, long dead; Miles as rapt as the boy. The three of them being polite at some obscure relative’s afternoon tea, then mischievously sharing their boredom with each other through grimaces and raised eyebrows behind the woman’s back – they had gone home and read all evening, happy in their shared silence. Both of his parents a little giddy, someone having talked them into a fine restaurant on their twelfth wedding anniversary, dressing in their usual dull clothes – but Miles had bought Rebecca a silk scarf. The dark green of it picked out the reddish tint to her brown hair, which she left loose for once. Her eyes had glowed.
Late that night, she clutched the scarf in her dead hand and wouldn’t let it go.
Continue reading excerpt: Albert J Sterne: Future Bright, Past Imperfect