The King is Always Above the People by Daniel Alarcón

Rating: ★★★★★

Genre: Short stories, fiction, ARC

Medium: Hardcover

Synopsis: In this anthology of short stories, Alarcón relates the stories of various characters and their every day lives and struggles.  Emotions are heightened, money is short, and nobody knows who may have a gun or not.

Review: If you asked me what my favorite short story is from this collection, I don’t know if I’d be able to tell you.  What I can tell you though, are the short stories that I remember now, a month after I’ve read the book.  I remember “The Thousands,” “The Ballad of Rocky Rontal,” and “The King is Always Above the People.”  I remember the way I was reading this on the bus on my way to work, the sun glinting and lightly reflecting off the pages.  I remembering finishing each short story with a feeling of satisfaction, disappointment, hope, and depression.

There are so many stories, and so many conflicting emotions.  There are conflicting politics, conflicting stances, conflicting families, conflicting dreams.  All of them are more real than the other, and these stories swirl together to create something I only wish I could think of.  Alarcón truly has a talent that only few can even begin to hope to achieve.

All I want to do is hand this book to others and say: Here.  Read this.  It will change you.  I don’t know how you will change, but you will change.  Please read this book.

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