The Passion of Jazz and Other Short Stories contains five short stories of mainstream fiction. Beginning with a tale of a love affair at a highly selective summer music program, these stories study the whims and follies of human nature. The stories are easy to read and took little time to consume.
I found the stories pedestrian and predictable, akin to reading assignments from a high school creative writing class. The language was flat and the dialogue came out sounding forced and overly planned. Each theme and its progression were telegraphed in the first few lines of the story in a formulaic manner. I was lost in one story, much like its characters, and wondered about the purpose when I suddenly reached the end with no sense of having gotten anywhere on the meandering path. The least predictable and the one with the most potential is “Grandfather’s Gift” – while the main character’s change in outlook was predictable, the path on which he arrived at this change was not.
Bridgman possesses potential for writing interesting pieces of literature. These felt like early works in need of revising and revisiting or like non-fiction essays rather than fictional narratives. They lacked any color and spark that would hold my interest.