LAUGHING INTO THE FOURTH DIMENSION, by Larry Lefkowitz, published by Wayman Publishing

Humor - it's a gift from the gods, in my opinion. Without it, we'd have to look constantly at "man's fate" and weep. But thanks to humor - like that found in Larry Lefkowitz's "Laughing Into the Fourth Dimension" - we can laugh.

In his new book, Lefkowitz presents 25 examples of the kind of dilemmas in which we humans all too often find ourselves. Those are the dilemmas that could cause weeping - but not in Lefkowitz's "Fourth Dimension."

For example, in the first story, "Green Grow the Lilacs," we meet a husband-and-wife team who land on an alien planet where they are ready to work. They've done this before, on many other planets, as he's an interplanetary tax collector, and she's the tax assessor.

Their host and guide, Thelp, welcomes them, treats them to a pleasant dinner, and shows them to the guest room. The next morning, the man is ready to go to work but - his wife has turned into a tree.

She is a lilac tree, as Lefkowitz explains - "a white lilac bush, not unfittingly, Giselle having always favored white."

No weeping for the husband, whose name is Brendon. He immediately turns on their host, Thelp, and blames him. "It must have been something she ate!" he storms.

Thelp stammers, "No, since you are not a plant."

That doesn't satisfy Brendon. He throws Thelp to the ground and fastens him there with a foot on his throat. He threatens Thelp, "If I finish you, your property will escheat to the galaxy and be sold. I'll handle the sale myself. Transform Giselle back and I'll knock off five percent from her assessment. Giselle will be angry, but I'm not such a stickler. Agreed?"

Thelp seems to agree, but hesitates. As soon as Brendon lets him up, he makes Brendon a proposition -- that maybe they could make galactic music together. Brendon pauses, sniffing Giselle 's lilac blossoms. He recalls that the scent of lilac always put him in a romantic mood…

Okay, back to our review. That story's darkly comic conclusion gives you an idea of how Lefkowitz can turn a moment of horror into something comical. He does it 24 more times in "Laughing Into the Fourth Dimension."

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's from Wayman Publishing, at

Reviewed by Jean M. Goldstrom

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