"The Channel: Stories from L.A." by Susan Alcott Jardine is quite a perplexing set of stories. Each takes a few characters and weaves unusual tales around them to make ordinary situations yield pensive questions. The ages, genders, races, occupations, and personalities of the characters are altered as to not bore the reader. Most involve an overall question of fate, as "Are we in control of our lives, or merely at the mercy of fate?" is strewed across the back cover. Some stories are better than others, but they generally follow the same style. This book is good in that it is not graphic in nature (some parts leave it up to the imagination of the reader). However, there is some swearing and violence is used. Christian readers may be offended when a crazy character in one of the stories sends a Bible verse to another character. Metaphysics also comes into play with many philosophical ideas being thrust at the reader and some paranormal science-fiction throw in. Overall, this book is entertaining and will definitely make readers ponder, especially when they get to understand the true meaning of the title in the last short story.