*I was given a pre-publication copy of this book by the author for review purposes*
“Bedtime Stories for Grown-Ups is a jumble of genres—seven hundred pages of fiction and non-fiction … some stories included against the author’s better judgment. If he had known that one day they’d be published, he might not have been as honest when describing his past. Here is a tome of true stories about the author’s criminal and misspent youth, historical accounts of the United States when She was young, and tales of imagination encompassing every conceivable variety—all presented as though the author is sitting next to you at a bar, and you’re buying the drinks as long as he keeps coming up with captivating stories to hold your interest.
Comprised of 218,000 words, you’ll have plenty to read for the foreseeable future. This is a book to have on your night table, to sample a story each night before extinguishing the lights and drifting off to a restful sleep.
Mr. Joyce sincerely hopes that you will enjoy his stories because, as he has stated, “It took a lot of living to come up with the material for some of them.”
Andrew Joyce is the recipient of the 2013 Editor’s Choice Award for Best Western for his novel, Redemption: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer.
His book Yellow Hair was awarded Book of the Year by Just Reviews and Best Historical Fiction of 2016 by Colleen’s Book Reviews.”
Enter the creative and factual world of Andrew Joyce where imagination and memories collide in a spectacular volume of short and long stories. This book is a collection of many genres and styles. There is something here for everyone. And, that is one of the author’s gifts – the ability to write stories that capture everyone’s imagination.
I have to share with you that the true adventures the author lived through left me with some jaw-dropping moments. Be prepared for a wild ride. In these hitching tales, the author uses his real name, Billy Doyle, Andrew Joyce being his pen name. I think that fact made the stories even more terrifying for me. I couldn’t help but wonder what motivated the author’s wanderlust and later penchant for falling into tough situations. Yet, somehow, he managed to survive with the will to jump into another wild adventure. I can only attribute his gumption to being young and his willingness to experience life to the fullest.
A segment of the novel was skillfully written by the author’s dog, Danny. These heartwarming tales describe life with Andrew expressed with humor, love, and the kind of patience only our furry companions could have for their humans. Danny is a gem, and his stories are liberally sprinkled throughout this collection. I found that Danny’s take on life took the sting out of some of the real happenings recorded in this tome.
My favorite stories are always the tales of the old west. I’ve read and reviewed most of the author’s westerns: Molly Lee, Resolution, and Yellow Hair. Each novel is outstanding and written with historical facts that leap off the page.
In this collection, Joyce weaves old-fashioned western yarns with the skill of Louis L’Amour. He draws the reader back into time with him and suddenly you realize you are in the wild and often lawless west. I swear I could taste the dust and feel the heat of the old west wrap around me. The stories in this anthology are fabulous with a few new tales that I hadn’t read before.
There are too many stories to mention as the book is a long read. Some tales were quick, and others took a couple nights to read through. The entire volume took me a month of bedtime reading which shows the value and depth written into each of the stories. Don’t let the length deter you; instead read at your leisure, as I did.
I had a couple of favorites where I thought the author’s writing was spectacular, to say the least. He seemed to stretch his wings and venture into new writing territory. “How I became a Detective,” is one (although there are a few more tales related to this genre), and the other story was called, “Conversation with a Friend,” which was my favorite because of the message.
Bedtime Stories reads like a labor of love and a cleansing of the author’s soul. I’ve never read a collection of stories that lets you into the heart of the writer in this way. By the time you have finished the novel, you’ve walked beside the author and experienced life through his eyes which is a rare gift, indeed.
Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 Fairies
Author, Andrew Joyce
Andrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until years later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written five books. His first novel, Redemption: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, was awarded the Editors’ Choice Award for Best Western of 2013. A subsequent novel, Yellow Hair, received the Book of the Year award from Just Reviews and Best Historical Fiction of 2016 from Colleen’s Book Reviews.
Joyce now lives aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his dog, Danny, where he is busy working on his next book, tentatively entitled, Mahoney: An American Story.
Night time reading you will enjoy!