Reviewed By D. Blackwood - Arizona, USA
This book was great, it is a compilation of seven short stories. Each story is something that could happen in life. You probably know someone that's been in a similar situation or you've been there yourself. This book shows how some choices can really help or hurt you. It also shows, more often than not, a lot of our choices are difficult to make, some may not have a clear right or wrong answer. The author truly gets into the character for each short story and has you running right alongside him. This book is a must have. When you do decide to read it, set aside enough time to read the whole book. Even though it's made up of several stories, when you finish one, you'll want to get right to the next, it’s that good and it's a super fast read.
Reviewed by Stacy - a.k.a. - Coffey Brown-Amazon Reviewer
Loved the title, cover and each story ... brilliantly done! I don't make it a habit of reading short stories because I always feel thirsty for more. However, J B Bergstad quenched my thirst in all seven short stories of Screwing the Pooch. Each story is well written and complete, with each character driving the chapters from beginning to end. From seven-year-old Milton to the retired suicidal sheriff I felt a range of emotions: sadness, happiness, laughter and pain ... as each individual dealt with their unique challenges. I don't have a favorite tale but am leaning towards the tales where karma shows up. A good example is the outcome for the narcissistic rapist, little Milton's bully and the retired sheriff's robber, all get what they deserve. As you turn the pages of this fast paced, thought provoking collection of short stories, you will not be disappointed. This is a brilliant piece of work and I highly recommend it.
Reviewed by Lonna H. - Chesapeake, VA, USA
Odd title ... great book. "Screwing the Pooch" is a collection of seven short stories each with a well developed central character. The characters are easy to believe in and understand. In each story, the central character has to overcome some hardship in life. This collection is wide reaching and covers a variety of subjects including love, humor, suspense, mystery and bullying. I enjoyed reading this book. The stories were the perfect length for a quick read. I would definitely recommend this book, but fair warning, it is not for the faint of heart.
Reviewed by G. Reba - Panama City, FL, USA
Interesting Read! First things first ... the cover of the book is a little odd, but perfectly illustrates the title. KUDO’s for that! Now moving on to the contents, author J B Bergstad has delivered a selection of short stories that could have come from anyone's past. Thoroughly enjoyable in both writing style and situations chosen, you will find yourself laughing, crying, smiling ... in summary, it hits almost all ranges of the emotional rainbow. Unfortunately, I am at a loss to select one favorite tale from within, but I have no doubt that there is one for readers of all backgrounds. "Screwing the Pooch" would be a recommended addition to anyone's library. It's great for anyone who seeks a short break from their monotonous day with a fellow traveler on this crazy ride we call life.
Reviewed by K. Davis for Bookideas.com and Midwest Book Review
A wonderful collection of tales! Despite what the cover art may suggest, Screwing the Pooch by J B Bergstad is not a comedy. Instead, Pooch is a series of seven excellent character-driven short stories, all of which are packed surprisingly full of rich emotion including love, anger, pathos, and revenge. The wonderful stories include "Milton's Pickle," "The Puppy Murders," "The Brass Rail," "Rot Like Me," "Dear Daniel," and "Hank Straker, SA." The stories are varied in element and style, but the common thread among most of the stories seem to be that of vengeance, deliverance or new beginnings. I've read plenty of short story collections and this is among the best. Read these stories one at a time when you have time to escape into another world and truly appreciate them. J B Bergstad is an excellent short-story writer and I recommend this work highly. I will definitely look forward to reading his next collection as well!
Brenda Casto for Readers' Favorite
Doors To Perdition by J B Bergstad is a compilation of short stories that take the reader on a page-turning, often twisted journey of the mind. Once I started reading this book, I couldn't put it down; each story had me thinking I needed to read just one more. Within the pages I met some very interesting, although troubled characters. From the man who convinces his friends to rob a bank, thinking the money was the answer to all their problems, but instead becomes the death of them; to the unique twist on the John Dillinger story, shared by a ninety-year-old man who is on his way to an Assisted Living Facility, also known as "death's waiting room;" or perhaps the story of an ex-Marine who finds himself part of a hold-up - each story has enough down to earth realism that makes them all the more mind bending! It takes a gifted writer to pull a reader into a short story so completely that you actually feel like you become the character. J B Bergstad accomplishes just that with this collection of short stories.
Peter Klein, Allbooks Reviews
The tales Author J B Bergstad creates throughout Doors to Perdition might have you thinking of stories spun by Rod Serling or Alfred Hitchcock. These are tales of comeuppance - what goes around, comes around and bad karma. Bergstad goes deep into his characters mind and soul and graphically shows how they struggle with their bad decisions. You might find yourself feeling sorry for some and their ultimate fate. Others you might say, “Well they got what they deserve.” Bergstad's writing will have you guessing as he expertly weaves you through and into the plots and the minds of his characters. I don’t want to give out the particulars of any of the stories because this would take away your fun in trying to figure out the endings before you get there. I will say this though. When you reach the conclusion of each and every story, you will agree Bergstad knows how to plot a story because the endings are logical and no one comes to save anyone from the fate Bergstad has planned for them. I highly recommend this book of short stories for all who enjoy a good puzzle and don’t mind climbing into the minds of people you wouldn’t want to know.
Review by Don Mosher, novelist and avid reader of fiction
J B Bergstad writes with zest and passion. He is extremely descriptive. I can picture his characters in my minds eye; I can feel their emotions. I love the way he pulls the reader into the story one page at a time. His characters are human and hold the readers interest. Expect to lose a few hours sleep, and you may want to keep a light on. J B's got skills.
Review by David Swykert, novelist and avid reader of fiction
Doors to Perdition is a fine collection of stories in the tradition of Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone. As I read I imagined Rod standing there with the eerie music playing and a trail of cigarette smoke wafting into the air. Each unique story is well written and interconnected by exceptional characterization and clever endings. Bergstad truly brings his eclectic characters to life in these stories, putting them in conflicting situations that further the suspense. I highly recommend the collection, this is what short story writing is all about.