Short Pathways in a Room of Imagination by John Needham

Short Pathways in a Room of Imagination by John Needham is a collection of mind-bending short stories that start off in our seemingly normal real world, only to quickly turn off the deep end into situations that could only occur in a make-believe place of the most wondering imagination. The fifteen stories contained within this book have a wide range of different narratives, from ‘The Old Lady’ to ‘A Knock on the Door’ to the final story ‘Church of the Modern Apostles.’ The stories stand alone, and each can be enjoyed one at a time, but the themes and narrative styles present compliment each other nicely.

Mostly all of the stories are told in the first person, placing the reader right within the imagined tale that is taking place. As Needham describes in the book’s introduction, these stories were written with a purpose, to broaden the reader’s imagination and cause them to delve into each of these short stories fully. He requests each story to be looked upon individually, fully immersing yourself into each of the tales he has spun. The characters range from all sorts of different people, but each one is fully developed and makes the story he or she is entwined within matter, affecting the reader in an intrinsic way. Needham excels at the short narrative, although from the vast amount of content imagined within each tale, it is likely that he would succeed at writing a full-length novel as well. If you are looking to get lost for a while in stories that twist reality and offer up notions to ponder, then this is the book for you.

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