To be fair I would actually rate this 2.5 stars instead of three. My thoughts are that this collection of short stories are uneven, most of the stories are supposed to be character driven, but in the end I felt disappointed. I didn't feel like I was reading about people, more like words on a page. It's fiction, that doesn't matter. If you're a good writer you can get your reader to get involved with the character. The last story, "The Beggar's Garden," which the collection is named after, is probably the strongest work in this collection. It was the story that did get me involved with the characters, however the relationship with the wife felt very erratic and not fully expanded. What he does well is descriptions, which are great and fresh. My problem is that in terms of characters he's too much into their head and then I can't get a sense of who they are overall. At least give me a few details about what they look like. My overall feelings is that I read this for a creative writing class, and I feel there are much better works that show what you should do and what not to do.