(this review originally appeared at OutsiderWriters.org)Ken Wohlrob’s The Love Book explores, appropriately for the title, individuals seeking connection, each equally as maligned and stressed as the relationships they attempt to form. In “The Fetish,” racial fetishism is transposed when a man with self-diagnosed Yellow Fever dates an Asian obsessed with New Jersey guidos. In “No Matter How Small You Are,” a woman with a missing arm hunts for a man able to look past the deformity. In “The Fabulous Omar,” a self-reflective, self-repulsed obese female wrestler asks, as she reflects on the lives of apparently perfect TV personalities, where is her memoir? Perhaps The Love Book is it. Perhaps The Love Book is the memoir of every damaged soul who has ever asked, selfishly or not, for such a simple thing as love.Most impressive is that these characters are able to repeatedly dodge indefinite depression to end up, if not happy, at least with a more thorough understanding of what could bring that happiness. Even when a character consciously weighs her emotional toll…“Thus the infamous iced tea cocktail. Jasmine was giving up. She had no intention of taking on a life of celibacy and one-off gigs as a circus performer in the form of dates. It made more sense that she should’ve died in the accident. Jasmine was merely correcting a minor oversight” (pg 112).…the reader is rewarded with triumph.Despite their length (5 stories in this 209 page book) The Love Book is comprised of quick, emotionally relevant stories. And it is refreshing to read a book of love stories that isn’t afraid to drop unnecessary intricacies to map human interaction; these are unconcern with flowery, flowing prose, instead heaving the burden of storytelling upon the situations themselves, not the vocabulary of the author.