Books by Tom Hazuka

Released: June 1, 2000

"A tale that deals with a worthy subject, but without the gravity and depth to tackle it in any satisfying way."
Will romantic love keep a 23-year-old Peace Corps volunteer in a country where soldiers will beat him—or worse—for the slightest provocation? That's the $64,000 question in this somewhat shallow treatment of Chilean life under Pinochet's savage regime. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

You can—t go home again, it seems, and newcomer Hazuka does a fair job of showing why not, provided that a certain number of clinkers, stretchers, and forcing of parts are willingly overlooked. When Jimmy Dolan's father dies, hit by a car while jogging in the wee small hours, Jimmy comes home to Newfield, Connecticut, after an absence of four years and change. Fifteen years have passed since his 1971 high school graduation, but that's still not long enough for some people (like his older brother Gary, for example?) to have stopped thinking of him as —Mr. Hot Shit Valedictorian,— and it's not long enough, either, for Jimmy to have laid to rest whatever the terrible, awful memory was that made it impossible for him to stay in Newfield even though he had a job there and a wonderful new wife and a son, all left behind when he took off for keeps. The —mystery— is a disappointment when it's finally revealed—as to credibility and as to being a motive for flight—but Hazuka seems willing to overlook its porousness so long as it fits a bigger pattern in the book. Jimmy is struggling with guilt, you see, and Roger, his best friend from childhood on, is struggling with it also, in his case associated partly with his tour of duty in Vietnam. In the few days of his visit, Jimmy gets to know his ex-wife Beth again (in more ways than one), his bottled-up but passionate mother, the tough but secretly insecure Gary, and his own seven-year-old son—through whom he remembers much of his own vanished past. The big news, though, isn—t only that best friend Roger and ex-wife Beth have become an item—but that there's something more to the death of Jimmy's father than seen or known at first. Soapiness aside, an often involving look back at a family, a town, and the lives in it. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 17, 1997

This gathering of 26 stories by well-known writers on the nature and function of faith is more intriguing for the questions it poses than for any answers it offers. After all, fiction is more about gathering evidence than about arriving at succinct solutions. That said, there are some moving and persuasive tales here, such as Andre Dubus's ``A Father's Story,'' about a man who violates the tenets of his religion to save his daughter; John L'Heureux's terse ``The Expert on God,'' concerning a priest compelled, while ministering to a dying man, to confront his own uncertainties about the nature of faith; Flannery O'Connor's stunning tale ``Good Country People,'' about a devout, crippled woman and a deranged Bible salesman; and Isaac Bashevis Singer's angry ``Gimpel the Fool,'' offering a terse commentary on both this world and the next. Other writers here include Zora Neale Hurston, Vladimir Nabokov (``Christmas''), John Updike, Reynolds Price, and E.M. Forster. A useful and sometimes provocative gathering. Read full book review >