The Twenty Dollar Bill
by Elmore Hammes, contemporary (2007)
Kanapolis Fog Publishing Emporium, $11.95,
ISBN 978-0-6151-4716-1

The Twenty Dollar Bill follows the progress of a twenty-dollar bill as it passes on from Claire, a waitress who impatiently hands it to a homeless man named Joe, onto a variety of characters ranging from kind but dotty old women to mean punks on the street. Along the way, I am given a short glimpse into the heads and lives of these people, at least until they pass on the twenty-dollar note onto the next character.

This is a pleasant and quaint story, but the glimpses offered by the author into these characters are too short. Perhaps the story would have worked better if the author has cut down the number of characters and allow the twenty-dollar note to remain with one character for a little longer. Apart from offering an hour or two of mildly entertaining reading, this book doesn't seem to have any clear purpose where I am concerned. The characters are too superficial, their story is over before I can even blink, and I end up not entirely sure what to make of this one. I don't believe that any "exploration" of relationships is done adequately here since the characters come and go too quickly to make any impact on me.

The Twenty Dollar Bill comes off more like a self-indulgent exercise on the author's part with very little actually that is actually offered to the reader in return.

Rating: 60

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