cover of book

Small Worlds: Adopted Sons, Pet Piranhas, and Other Mortal Concerns
by Robert Klose
University of Missouri Press, 2006
eISBN: 978-0-8262-6553-1 | Paper: 978-0-8262-1675-5
Library of Congress Classification PN4874.K5737A25 2006
Dewey Decimal Classification 814.54


For twenty years, readers of The Christian Science Monitor have enjoyed the musings of a singular writer who has brought his talent to bear on a wide range of human-interest subjects. Robert Klose has attracted fans from all walks of life, from physicians to farmers to teachers, and his unique insights on life are seasoned with gentle, often laugh-out-loud humor.

            The cream of Klose’s columns has now been gathered in this delightful book culled largely from the more than 250 pieces written for the Monitor. Small Worlds captures his graceful prose and engaging voice in brief essays whose subjects range from the joys of small-town hardware stores and Converse sneakers to the challenges of learning a foreign language or traveling abroad.

            In these pieces, readers will find themselves in the company of a wordsmith who is warm, funny, and smart—a man passionate about many subjects. Within these pages are memorable stories about Klose’s life: his childhood pet piranha, his love of the clarinet, his attempts to learn Polish. He shares touching moments of his experience raising adoptive sons, from his first encounter with Alyosha in a Russian orphanage—a bond sealed with a Pez dispenser—to learning to counsel six-year-old Anton about puppy love. Klose also depicts his life in Maine, where pursuit of warmth is a prime occupation and culture is best defined by a deserted Downeast beach or a pick-your-own strawberry farm. In addition to this breadth of subject matter, the wide range of forms in which Klose writes—social and cultural commentary, travel writing, humor, and more—makes these essays excellent examples for fledgling writers.

            Whether poignantly reflecting on the parent-child relationship or nostalgically recollecting the old-fashioned ice cream soda, Robert Klose is a writer whose voice rings true and is sure to appeal to fans of other humorists like Garrison Keillor or Jean Shepherd. Small Worlds is a deft blending of wisdom and whimsy, a celebration of the art of the essay that lovers of fine writing will take to their hearts. 

Nearby on shelf for Literature (General) / Journalism. The periodical press, etc. / By region or country: