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POSTED: Sunday, March 22, 2009

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”;Crossing the Water: The Alaska-Hawaii Trilogies”;

By Irving Warner / Pleasure Boat Studio / $16

A collection of short stories, this book offers unique insight into two worlds seemingly unrelated, yet bridged by their remoteness, almost isolation.

The stories are set in Alaska and Hawaii, both places where the author has lived. This familiarity sets a foundation for authenticity in stories that draw on local folklore as much as reality.

The first section focuses on Alaska and the remoteness of its villages. The second part moves to Hawaii. A short bridge between the two sets up the connection.

The Hawaii stories are unique pieces of fiction—the first a tale of visitors taken on a too-real encounter with ancient Hawaii; the second involving an unknown beast ravaging the local populace. The third is the tale of an old Japanese-Hawaiian plantation worker trapped in time between plantation-era days and modern times.

The stories are dark and disturbing yet reveal the powers of adaptation or lack thereof. It's an entertaining read that often provokes questions of the self, with the answers elusive and perhaps difficult.