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Love Is A Four-Letter Word: True Stories of Breakups, Bad Relationships, and Broken Hearts    edited by Michael Taeckems order for
Love Is A Four-Letter Word
by Michael Taeckems
Order:  USA  Can
Algonquin, 2009 (2009)
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

You'll find 23 different takes on all the vagaries associated with romance in this anthology of essays that focuses on love gone wrong - terribly wrong, in some instances.

The authors who contributed these amusing and sometimes tragic tales about failed relationships have written about the dark side of love as they share some of their amorous intentions that have gone awry. Making public their indiscretions, desperation and discontent and writing about the events and individuals which plunged them into the depths of romantic dysfunction takes a certain amount of intestinal fortitude. But obviously these folks don't mind sharing and writing, what for some of them may well be a form of therapy.

In the volume's introduction Neal Pollack writes that these stories are sad and wistful and a little Chekhovian. They do in the end 'what good relationship writing should do: illuminate larger truths about the human condition, about our foibles, fears, weaknesses, insecurities, and passions.'

Pollack continues, 'The stories in this book have perspective, knowledge, wisdom, and a general understanding that young people are largely foolish morons and that their relationships are bound to fail. When you're young you screw up because you think things are going to turn out differently. When you're older, you do it because you know they're not.'

If you have loved and lost (and who hasn't?), you'll find this an enlightening, mirth provoking and even profound collection of essays about love and relationships that weren't meant to be.

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