Every story in the slim new Simon Van Booy collection, The Sadness Of Beautiful Things, is about the end of the world. In none of them does the world actually end. In none of them does it even come close. But that doesn't change the fact that these are stories of apocalypse. Even the quietest of them shakes the ground and darkens the sky.
Van Booy’s latest collection is full of surprises, starting with the settings, which range from small-town Ireland to New York City’s Chinatown. Some stories are grounded in realism, but others contain elements of magic.
In The Sadness of Beautiful Things, a collection of short fiction, British-born and Brooklyn, N.Y., resident Van Booy mines similar terrain and themes. This time he gathers eight short works that focus on a host of ordinary people who suffer devastating life losses, but find ways to go on--dramatically changed. Each of these haunting, at times mystical, fictions are, at their core, love stories in every conceivable sense of the word ... Van Booy is a wise, philosophical writer. His spare prose is...illuminating and is further enhanced by unexpected resolutions that allow graceful themes to expand and flourish ... The dark, sad circumstances that germinate each of these poignant, unpredictable gems will lead readers to refreshing glimpses of transcendence and hope.