K. Wohlrob, The Love Book. New York: Bully Press, 2007. Fiction. 216 pages. ISBN: 978-0615171425.
These stories of sex and death, attraction and repulsion, men and women, start out in a gritty mode, exposing the less pretty realities of some of life's unfortunates. One triumph of The Love Book is the tenderness Wohlrob reveals in the course of writing each relationship, a raw and recognizable humanity he brings to the surface in places the reader least expects: Compassion for just the characters with whom I was most uncomfortable crept over me in absorbing Wohlrob's deft and distilled prose. The stories in The Love Book are never veiled autobiography, but add up to an original vision all Wohlrob's own, one that has been piercingly and wisely lived, felt, and imagined. Recommended for collections of contemporary fiction, short fiction, suburban fiction, small press fiction, New Jersey authors, Italian-American authors.