Luck Favors the Prepared review: Robert M. Gershey

Here we have a collection of stories that the unsuspecting reader might think is a charmingly lighthearted account of the travails that the author encounters in everyday life. You know the genre - it uses clever and amusing prose to describe those things that we all love (or hate) and it leaves us laughing and feeling good about the world in general. Things like starting the new job. We all have had to do that. But wait! This first story seems to end on a somewhat edgy note(?!). Thus appears the first indication that the book is, perhaps, going to offer something different than we first expected. As it turns out, it does, and it offers much, much more.
Prepare to be engaged by an artfully-organized series of stories that spans a portion of the author’s life that ranges from school days to adulthood. What follows is one wonderfully- described scene after another which creates a narrative that runs the gamut of human emotions. They are woven together in non-chronological order to form an intimate, yet oddly indistinct, portrait of the writer. We are taken back to high school to remind us of the inequities that are dealt out to those who fail to conform. In adult life the same fierce opposition to the mundane lands our hero in situations that are by turns sad, hilarious and tragic. At the end of this journey you will have become emotionally invested in this fellow, Nate Barber, who has opened a small but revealing portal into his life.
As the author states in the disclaimer, this is a work of creative non-fiction but it tends toward personal memoir. His willingness to reveal, with candor, the details of his personal life compels a strong empathetic response. One then cannot help but wonder at the arc of his life that provided the context for these tales. But by design, or perhaps, with some reserve of reticence, many important details are withheld from the reader and this leaves us eager to want to know more. Alternatively, we as the readers may choose to fill in the blanks ourselves and construct a world for him to live out his days in contentment. This is not a bad option and it may be the very thing that Nate intends us to do.