Cafe Stories 
the stories of Jerry Guarino

With Alonzo Bodden, my favorite comic.


"50 Italian Pastries is a short story reader's culinary delight.  Jerry Guarino's 50 slice of life pieces are filled with delightful takes on people, places and things that make America great.  He infuses his stories with life's delights: good food, great music, fine drink and the emotional roller coaster of interpersonal relationships.  I found his work honest and filled with delightful irony.  He is a keen observer of the human condition and a writer of obvious talent.  He is a master at mirroring to his readers all their foibles, their fantasies and their forever quest to understand why the wheel of life turns as it does.  50 Italian Pastries is short story telling at its best."

Wayne C. Long (author of Eye Candy, Flash in the Pan and Stories from the Edges)

"What James Beard was to cooking, Jerry Guarino is to modern fiction."

Paul Soderberg (author of The Elephant Queen)

"Jerry Guarino sends his readers on a merry chase through a wild array of micro/flash fiction--humor, satire and pathos.  He artfully captures gentle souls and slick cons, the high brows and their unsuspecting victims in characters that step from the page to engage the reader.  He finds the tiniest trait that creates zany folks the reader wants to protect or strangle, often at the same time.  Prepare for the surprise twist at the end.  He gets you every time."

Myra H. McIlvain (author of Legacy)

"The stories in the collection are tightly told tales with engaging storylines and interesting characters. There are plenty of twists and turns and plenty of characters to delight in (and some to despise).  The highlight of the collection is surely, and Orwell-meets-Barthelme tale about the dangers of strollers and government surveillance."

Nathaniel Tower (Pushcart Prize nominated author and editor of Bartleby Scopes Literary Magazine.

"Guarino's style is simple and consistently powerful, his storytelling a triumph of art over artifice."

Ben Price (editor at Zouch Magazine and Miscellany - Canada)

"Guarino is a writer you can enjoy without feeling guilty and I strongly recommend his work."

Steven Miller (editor of Leaning House Press)

"Jerry's writing is consistently fresh and inventive.  His stories grab from the beginning and then hurl the reader into surprising and powerful endings.  Definitely a must-read.  The Rich are Going to Hell, The Devil's Orchestra and The Grand Poobah are some of my favorite Guarino pieces.  Always inventive, Jerry Guarino is one of my favorite short story writers.  His work hooks you from the first sentence and doesn't let you go until you reach the end, making this one writer you won't forget."

Earl Wynn (editor of Weirdyear, Daily Love and Yesteryear Fiction)

"I found myself intertwined in the lives of each character, not knowing until the end that every one of them held a magical piece to the puzzle we call human nature; the larger picture of which only became clear after reading the final word.  This collection of shorts is something that avid fans of storytelling should go out of their way to find."

Jim Idema (screenwriter and author)

"Jerry Guarino's writing reminds me of the late, but great, Jose Saramago's.  His structure is both unique and compelling, always leading the reader to places that they never see coming."

Weeb Heinrich (editor of Writing Raw)

"Jerry Guarino's stories are a real treat for the reader.  Each story is well crafted with the natural elegance of a natural writer.  The Fringe Magazine has enjoyed his short stories and has had the pleasure of publishing these gems for the past year."

Scott Wilson (editor of The Fringe Magazine - Australia)

"The beauty in Jerry's work is the ease with which he breaks that serious concentration without sacrificing quality.  Preheat the Microwave.Com has a relevant, poignant subject at its heart but it is delivered to the reader with eloquent comedy."

Jenny Caitlin (editor of Scissors and Spackle)

"Jerry Guarino takes the nuances of everyday, places it on its head and then tilts it slightly to the left.  His comical spin on life will make you wheeze with mirth and leave you wanting more."

Daniel Poole (editor of Larks Fiction Magazine)

"I loved Jerry's short stories and his choice of words.  These little tales are great!  He has a way with words and pulling you into the story, wanting more!  My one and only complaint was when the book ended, I wanted there to be 50 more short stories."

Reyna Hawk (author of Angels and Arrows and Looking Through Blind Eyes)

"Jerry Guarino has a knack for looking past the social illusions that poison our world."

Sand Pilarski (managing editor of The Piker Press)

"Jerry Guarino's writing is refreshing and authentic.  His storytelling grasps the nuances of life, leading the reader into expertly crafted moments of intimacy, humor, thoughtfulness and surprise.  Read one story and you're hooked.  50 Italian Pastries is a delicious read!  He knows how to tell a story and with this collection, one finds bite-sized nuggets that heartily fulfill any reader's palate for variety!  Guarino is a connoisseur with words, flavoring his stories with the seasonings of life, including laughter, loss, revelation, insight and wisdom.  Go ahead, dig in.  You'll enjoy every bite, I mean story."

​Sheila Pierson (author of Steak and Potatoes)

"The author, Jerry Guarino brilliantly assesses the human experience with a diverse compilation of plotlines, which creatively envelope a sprinkle of romance, mystery, suspense and intrigue as well as espionage.  Jerry continues to captivate his readership with his series of thought provoking storylines that are highly relatable, compelling and downright entertaining."

Pandora H. King - Author