420I love people who can tell a complete story with a few words. In the world of Twitter and Facebook statuses, many of us have become quite good at summing things up in short bursts. In his new collection, 420 Characters, Lou Beach takes this concept and makes it a new art form.

420 Characters, the limit of a Facebook status when Mr. Beach began his stories, is a wonderful collection of short fiction that is as entertaining as it is easy to consume.

About 420 Characters by Lou Beach: “Within this collection of miniature stories, entire worlds take shape—some like our own, some hallucinatory fairylands–populated by heartsick cowboys, random criminals, lovers and drifters. In a dazzling narrative constellation, Beach’s characters contend with the strange and terrible and beautiful in life, and no outcome is certain. Begun as a series of Facebook status updates, 420 Characters marks a new turn in an acclaimed artist and illustrator’s career, and features original collages by the author.”

I originally bought this book on my Kindle with the intent to read these stories aloud to my friends. That plan did not work out but I have been delighted to read 420 Characters on my own.

For all those aspiring authors out there, Mr. Beach’s collection is an inspiration. If you are sitting on your ideas overwhelmed with what it takes to pen the great American novel – dial it down and remember it starts with only a few words, characters, and you can say so much in so little space.

420 Characters By Lou Beach is available from Amazon and other fines booksellers.