Book Review: You Only Die Once: A Short Story by Jaka Tomc

This is, as far as I know and remember, the shortest story I’ve read and reviewed. Short stories are something else. They’re like an exam, where you have to cram everything you know into a much shorter time-frame. You’ve got to state your claims, put forth your argument, and prove your point much more quickly than in a novel.

Well, I absolutely loved it.

You Only Die Once is a biography of sorts, a 1st person narrative where we’re being told someone’s whole life’s story in the span of 15 minutes. It’s a mix between history and confession, going through this person’s upbringing, trouble past, love life, horrifying truths about their adult life, until we reach the end. It’s moving, heartbreaking, terrifying, and mysterious all at the same time.

I’ve read Tomc’s writing before, and it’s really good. It’s emotional and gripping without being overly bombastic or drawn out. It’s short and to the point, but at the same time it takes its time to make those points.

The story is the exactly the same, gripping and emotional, but without lingering too long in one place, never really settling long enough for you to start asking questions. You’re being pulled along this life, shown its ups and downs, the good and the bad, until you’re at the end and you’re thrown out the door. It’s a quick, “Here’s all you need to know, goodbye.” And I loved it.

You Only Die Once is a moving short story about someone’s life passing before their eyes, and I can honestly say it’s made me more interested in reading short stories in the future. Well done, Jaka Tomc.

You can find Jaka Tomc and his literature here.



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