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Brian Hartman was born in North Arlington, New Jersey. He graduated from Ramapo
College in 1992 with a BA in English Literature, and in 2000 from Rutgers
University with a Masters degree in Library Science. “First Steps” is
his first nationally published work. He also has a short story collection,
“Dave Riggler’s Stories.”
This is a collection of six short stories concerning David Riggler, a
handicapped person who uses a wheelchair. The stories follow him through his
early childhood to middle age as he comes to terms with himself and deals with
the challenges that come with not only his situation, but with the human
condition in general.
short story collection jumps to major events in Dave’s life, special things
that happen and alter him in different ways. You follow the common things
others think and the way it directly impacts Dave. You also learn how Dave’s
nice personality can directly impact others around him.
Dave is the main and my favorite probably because I learn about him while the
others are sub characters used for each short story. Dave grows and learns as
he progresses in life. He accomplishes many tasks that we do so easily and yet
he never really complains about them. He truly is an inspiration because anyone
that goes through the life he goes through and still has the respect for others
to be nice and not judge them completely is a hero to me.
Short story Penn. It really shows how some people can seem wonderful and turn
out to be a very bitter and selfish person. And also showing that at the same
time some people that can seem like trouble are actually just unlucky and make
a few bad turns but are still nice people.
Over all I enjoyed this book. It really gave me a new perspective of the life
and troubles of people in wheelchairs. I believe Brian got a strong grasp on
the emotions and troubled thoughts that go through a person that is in a
wheelchair. From the outcast feeling to the fear of surgery each book is a step
into another emotion, thought and fear of a person in a wheelchair. I strongly
recommend this book to help you get a new point of view and to have an
out of 5 stars. Short stories are hard. You have very little room to fill in a
story. I didn’t connect a great deal with Dave. He changed so much between each
story that it was like trying to connect with a new person each story and just
made it very hard on me to reconnect with who I was just connecting with. That
said I enjoyed this collection and would highly read the rest of Brian’s work.
He has a great grasp for writing and portraying some very intense stories.