February 23, 2022

#BookReview: Things Happen by Christopher Acker

Synopsis: In these four stories, things happen.

A mother loses her son to a magic trick gone horribly wrong. Now a Google Maps car is trying to erase the last tangible memory she has of him.

Michelle lands her first big role in Hollywood as a prostitute in a Sam Cooke biopic. But her chance at stardom is jeopardized when riots break out after an innocent black man is murdered by the LAPD.

Everyone in St. Louis knows about the Salazar House of Horrors where a teenage girl was tortured and imprisoned. The prosecution asks Brandon—a model railroad enthusiast—to make a miniature replica of the infamous dungeon. The goal is to persuade the jury to put the monster behind bars forever. But constructing such degradation at 1/12th scale with his wife and two daughters lingering over his shoulder pushes Brandon and his family beyond their limit.

Disgraced journalist Alexander Reynolds is knee-deep in depression. Just about the only thing he can muster these days is slithering to his couch to watch The Maury Povich Show. In a sudden stroke of genius, a path out of his humiliation falls into his lap: he will fake his way to being a guest on Maury. There’s only one problem. He’ll need to convince his wife—the Oscar-winning filmmaker—to play a co-starring role.

The characters here are bruised, battered, and just plain exhausted. They’re like us. And like us, not everything works out for them. It’s this humanity that’s at the heart of this unforgettable collection.

THINGS HAPPEN offers a poignant yet highly entertaining portrayal of people desperately looking for answers in a time when truth and facts are more elusive than ever. The themes of infidelity, unresolved grief, identity, redemption, and racial injustice are woven throughout, lending these short stories a degree of resonance every reader can connect with. And to keep things interesting, a celebrity or two might even make an appearance.

Above all else, THINGS HAPPEN reflects what’s going on in this country right now:

A whole lot of something.


Rating: 3 Stars
My Review: This collection of short stories was pretty good. Like most books with short stories you get your good ones and your bad ones. But nothing overall amazing.  I think that people will enjoy this for the most part though. 


"Christopher Acker spins a good tale. The prose is solid and the stories read well with clever endings. A great short read. Pick up a copy and introduce yourself to a solid author writing in our current political-social context." - Jerry Harwood, Jerry's Circumlocution

"A compelling and engaging read. Emotional storytelling, haunting atmosphere, and perfectly built-up tension allowed this collection to shine brightly." - Anthony Avina, Author Anthony Avina's Blog
"Four good books for the price of one. I can definitely recommend Things Happen. It will not make you laugh, it will not give you happy endings, but it will make you think about some of the stresses of modern living." - Whispering Stories

About the Author

Christopher Acker is a husband, father, and full-time clinical social worker living in Bridgewater, New Jersey. His fiction has appeared in Change SevenCrêpe & PennNew Reader MagazineJunto MagazineThe Ocotillo ReviewThing MagazineSubtle FictionThe Raven's PerchInwood IndianaFictive DreamSpelkFirefly MagazineThe Molotov Cocktail, and No Extra Words. His work has also been featured on Wandsworth Radio in the UK.

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FTC Guidelines: In accordance with FTC guidelines regarding endorsements and testimonials for bloggers, I would like my readers to know that many of the books I review are provided to me for free by the publisher or author of the book in exchange for an honest review. If am compensated for any reviews on this site I will state that post has been sponsored. 


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