Review: Edinboro alum Jason Kane’s ‘Deep Sky Objects’

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, April 25th, 2018 at 5:29 PM
Review: Edinboro alum Jason Kane’s ‘Deep Sky Objects’ by Erica Burkholder

“Deep Sky Objects” is a collection of short stories written by Edinboro University alum, Jason Kane. 

Stories you’ll want to seek out within the collection include “Exits,” “Jeopardy!,” “Dig (the First Drought)” and “The Receiver.” 

“Exits” and “Jeopardy!” are about relationships gone wrong and the impact they have. 

“Dig” is about two brothers dealing with their family secrets in the ways they think best, while “The Receiver” is about a psychic in the afterlife. “The Receiver” is certainly a favorite with the pictures painted in the story and the description of the psychic’s life sure to have you wishing for more details about him afterwards. 

The way many of the stories end remind you that while the tales focus on relationships going wrong, death, traveling or a mixture of all three, the thing that connects them all is humanity. More specifically, what connects them is showing humanity for what it is, as people struggle to deal with what they have to go through.

The detail put into them is admirable, so while some of these stories are a few pages long, the author still manages to intricately describe the setting and what is going on. “The Receiver” is incredibly detailed, for example, painting the picture of an afterlife and this eccentric character. The story shows the character of the psychic and how they chose to present themselves, which wasn’t always how they wanted to. 

You become more familiar with the variety of characters as you picture what setting they find themselves in, whether on purpose or not. 

The drawback to this collection of stories is that, as they are different stories, the formatting varies from piece to piece. Some of the stories follow a different format because they are more poetic than prose, or are written as letters, but the stories in which the formatting equals long paragraphs can be hard to read. 

Occasionally, the stories read more like a thesis than pure entertainment, but you could easily argue all are narratives on how humanity copes.

What stands out the most about this book is that you never really find the happiness popular books today present. Instead, you find yourself questioning the characters and yourself. You’ll find yourself in some of the characters, and you’ll wonder how you’d react if you were thrown into their lives. 

The book presents stories of people struggling to find themselves, to find answers or even to find happiness. 

This book will be one you’ll want to revisit in the future to see what you get out of it a second time around. And it seems to be one that tells the struggles people go through — it also reminds you that people aren’t as happy as they seem. In its presenting of that struggle, it draws you in and makes you examine your own life and coping habits. 

Erica Burkholder can be reached at ae.spectator@gmail.com.

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