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RAY N. Amazon review- "Peek" is a stellar collection of 65 ultra-short stories by fiction master, Paul Beckman. Always quirky, often hilarious and somehow simultaneously profound, these are lean stories. No fat, no filler. Few extend beyond three pages; most fit on a single page. And a couple of them weigh in at exactly—exactly— fifty words. But even those teensy, fifty-worders (termed 'dribbles' by flash fiction nerds) pack a proverbial punch.

Beckman's characters are a gallery of liars, cheats, lovers, and stalkers. Lots of stalkers. Plus, stalker-like variants: Assorted sordid watchers, voyeurs, creepers, and late night keyhole peepers. As it were. (If dear reader longs for subjective, 'invisible author' journalism, pay for it.) In the title story, the residents of an apartment go to their living room windows every evening at 6 o'clock "and look out across the courtyard at each other." In "Brick," a woman exacts revenge via a cleverly wrapped package. And in "The Most Gorgeous Daughter," a man seeks the company of elderly women, envisions their beautiful young daughters, and undresses them with his eyes. The protagonist has this to say for himself:

"It's not hard to down-age a person with some practice, and God knows, I have enough practice."

Via his characters, Beckman reveals unfortunate truths as to the proclivity of humans to cheat, conceal and mislead in boundlessly creative ways. Often, appropriately enough, by story's end the reader realizes he's been had. Victim of a sneaky plot twist. But a delightful gotcha, for in Beckman's deft hands, you the reader are surprised, but never fooled. (There IS a difference.)

In sum, "Peek" is a collection of deceptively accessible, uniquely entertaining yet profound stories that pull the rug from under your feet. Just when you think you're having a good time—and you are—by story's end, you learn something about yourself and your fellow human critters. And you walk away from this collection a wiser, better person. Okay, okay, maybe not everyone will walk away new-and-improved. But you WILL have a good time. I guarantee it. Enthusiastically recommended. Five —5!— stars, man. Five freakin' stars.


Paul Beckman’s stories have appeared in over 200 publications in print, online and via audio and video. His stories have appeared in numerous anthologies and in a dozen countries. He earned an MFA in creative writing from Bennington College where he returned a few years later as the Alumni Graduation Speaker. He has taught creative writing in high school and judged an annual multi-school short story contest for ten years. Additionally, he’s been a guest editor for Cahoodaloodaling Magazine. When not writing Paul spends his time traveling, taking pictures–both above and beneath the water, and volunteering at the local Food Pantry. Visit him online at


    • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Big Table Publishing Company (January 22, 2015)
    • Language ‏ : ‎ English
    • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 120 pages
    • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0990841324
    • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0990841326
    • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 8.3 ounces
    • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 0.28 x 9 inches

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    Ships within 5-7 days

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