A debut collection of letters, essays, poems and stories from Sarazin, a retired FBI officer in Wisconsin.
There’s no apparent rhyme or reason to the order of pieces in Sarazin’s anthology. As he explains in the introduction, he chose the title to hint at its randomness: “Look at the title. Those three things in the title are the titles of three of the essays in the book. Not much connection among them is there.” However, despite the lack of a throughline, most of Sarazin’s pieces center on one of several subjects—his lake house in Wisconsin, sailing, politics, religion, his experience in the military and his time working in the FBI. Overall, he’s a solid writer. The entertaining, plot-driven stories show a great deal of imagination, as in “The Storm,” a whimsical fairy tale about a leprechaun that Sarazin wrote for his granddaughter. His self-deprecating humor is endearing—“What I’ve done in my chosen profession and personal life, although vitally important at the time, had, in reality, all of the earthshaking rumble of a fly stomping his way across a picnic table”—and the life experiences he details are both heartwarming and heartbreaking, including his falling in love with his wife in 1955 and losing her in 2011. Yet the limited number of topics becomes repetitive by book’s end; readers may feel like they’ve heard multiple versions of the same story. Additionally, without knowing the author, the average reader may not be particularly enthralled by his mostly personal, family-centric stories and the extensive essays on political and religious beliefs. Sarazin mentions in his introduction that he wrote the book at the behest of his friends and family, and ultimately, they’ll be the best audience for it.
A well-written collection of personal writing that may not have broad appeal.