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It was only after compiling these stories, written over a period of 15 years, that I realized how constant some of the themes are that permeate them. There are characters trapped in death, and others who are trapped in life. Some escape, some fail. But all are pulled in directions they don't want to go by events in their own lives.

The title story Life is Good presents a vision of the future where doctors no longer cure illnesses, they manage them. The Location Scout is a piece of flash fiction with a son who has to decide whether to share the news of his terminal illness with his senile father.

The Doll Box, The Library and Bianca feature three girls who find different ways to escape an unwanted and sometimes threatening reality.

In the longest story, Connections, a young man flies back across an entire continent and learns that the threads that hold a family together may not behave according to his beloved mathematical laws.

The Bag sees two men fleeing the scene of a crime and drawn inexorably to their fate by the object they covet. The collection ends with another type of inexorability. This Is What Will Happen To You is a nightmarish premonition that will leave you with a shudder.

From the 19th-century Bolivian jungle to the London blitz; from small-town Canada to San Francisco; Life is Good is a winding journey through the bars of eight different cages.

- John B. Dutton

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