The Dunning Man, by Kevin Fortuna – Review

About the book, The Dunning Man The Dunning Man

• Paperback: 140 pages
Publisher: Lavender Ink (October 19, 2014)

The six stories in Kevin Fortuna’s hilarious and gripping debut story collection, The Dunning Man, feature anti-heroes who reject society’s rules, and often show a gritty, Irish American take on the worlds in which they live. Characters from all walks of life—a rogue hip-hop star, a blackjack dealing mom, a middle-aged drunk plowing through his inheritance, and an empty nester housewife trying to make peace with the past. They each exist in the here and now, living for what’s possible and what’s left—not what they’ve left behind. Redemption awaits all, but only along the rutted, gut-churning path of honest self-examination. Age quod agis.

Set in Atlantic City, New Orleans, Washington, D.C., the Hudson Valley and Manhattan, Fortuna’s stories depict the violent clash between society’s expectations and the chaotic arc of individual destiny. These are powerful tales of truth seekers imbued with larger-than-life personalities and the all-consuming need to find something worth seeking.

Buy, read, & discuss The Dunning Man


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About the author, Kevin Fortuna

Kevin Fortuna lives in Cold Spring, New York. He obtained a Bachelors degree in English Literature from Georgetown University, where he graduated summa cum laude. He is the recipient of a Lannan Literary Fellowship, the Quicksall Medal for Writing, a Fellowship in Fiction at the Prague Summer Writers Workshop and a Full Fellowship in Fiction at the University of New Orleans, where he received his MFA.


My Thoughts

I really enjoy short stories because they have to be so well crafted from start to finish or they just don’t work. Economy of phrase is essential, but not just economy, also precision, and style.

Kevin Fortuna’s collection of stories, The Dunning Man has all three.

I enjoyed all of the pieces in the book, but the first one, which took place en route to Atlantic City, resonated most with me, probably because I know the Academy Bus gates at Port Authority so well, and understood the frustration of the crowded queues for certain routes.

Every tale in the collection is absolutely worth the read, and what I particularly appreciated was that Fortuna’s voice changes slightly for each story, to better match the protagonist he’s depicting, but still remains discernable as being the same author writing. It’s a fine line, but it proves that his point of view is clear and strong, and I look forward to more from this author.

Goes well with A slice of Famous Ray’s pizza and a cold beer.


Kevin’s Tour Stops TLC Book Tours

This review is part of a book tour sponsored by TLC Book Tours. For the list of tour stops, see below, or click HERE.

Tuesday, October 28th: A Dream Within a Dream

Thursday, October 30th: Built by Story

Monday, November 3rd: The Book Binder’s Daughter

Monday, November 10th: I’d Rather Be At The Beach

Thursday, November 13th: Bibliotica

Monday, November 17th: Conceptual Reception

Tuesday, November 25th: guiltless reading

Tuesday, November 25th: Read a Latte

Friday, November 28th: Walking With Nora

Saturday, November 29th: Tiffany’s Bookshelf

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 The Dunning Man, by Kevin Fortuna – Review by Melissa Bartell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

2 thoughts on “The Dunning Man, by Kevin Fortuna – Review

  1. Pingback: Kevin Fortuna, author of The Dunning Man, on tour November 2014 | TLC Book Tours

  2. I like how the author is able to adapt his voice to each protagonist yet you were still able to recognize it as the same author in each story. Sounds like a great collection!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.

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