David Mason’s fifth book of poetry, Sea Salt, explores the ineffable degradation of the surface while the internal core remains intact. The poems use “salt” as an over-riding metaphor to define a world that is slowly being eaten away by time and the elements. The lines in most every poem within this volume are plain-spoken, clear, rhythmically assured and cut to weigh against each other. The voice is confident and employs vivid metaphor to express regret, loss, and joy. Poetry, after time and the elements do their bidding, is what remains.
Category / Reviews
A Distant Father by Antonio Skármeta is a spare but arresting novella. A master at work, Skármeta proves that it isn’t necessary to painstakingly draw every individual
Reviewed by Robert Long Foreman Ancient Oceans of Central Kentucky, David Connerley Nahm Two Dollar Radio ISBN-13: 978-1937512200 $16.00, 222 pages Reading Ancient Oceans of Central Kentucky, the first novel by David Connerly Nahm, is something like reading The Orchard Keeper, the first novel […]
Reviewed by Ariell Cacciola After the People Lights Have Gone Off, Stephen Graham Jones Dark House Press ISBN-13: 978-1940430256 $15.95, 326 pages I had never read Stephen Graham Jones before and approaching his newest collection—an assemblage of previously published and new stories—was like showing […]
Reviewed by Michelle Newby Spheres of Disturbance, Amy Schutzer Arktoi Books/Red Hen Press ISBN: 978-0-9890361-1-5 $16.95, 277 pgs “Death is the final stroke of randomness, and we must wait for it, isn’t that what we’re told?” writes Amy Schutzer in Spheres of Disturbance, a […]
Atticus Books has politely and perhaps reasonably requested that all reviews of The Shimmering Go-Between avoid spoilers. The trouble with this request is that the content of Lee Klein’s debut novel is so bizarre
Reviewed by Michelle Newby Backswing, Aaron Burch Queen’s Ferry Press ISBN-13: 978-1938466304 $16.95, 214 pages Backswing, a mix of Raymond Carver-esque slice-of-life and the dystopia of The Twilight Zone, is the debut full-length collection of fourteen short stories from Aaron Burch, editor of the […]
Douglas Kearney’s Patter is a book of various and inventive forms, the title of which plays on the Latin for father and on the sound of little feet, suggesting, too, a verbal ease that seems deliberately at odds with the book’s difficult subject matter.
Not For Nothing by Stephen Graham Jones is a new hardboiled detective novel written in second person. Many know the second person format from those appliance manuals none of us ever read, but my introduction to the second person narrative came from Stephen King’s classic post-apoplectic thriller, The Stand.
In an interview, George Singleton once had the following to say: “Unfortunately, I am my main characters, for better or worse.” Now, in his sixth collection of short stories, Between Wrecks, he leaves us with a cast of tough and tender characters, characters who quite often cope with their lives through drinking, smoking, and even more importantly, humor. With each story, I found myself not only admiring Singleton’s abilities as a writer, but wondering where or how I might meet such a figure, or given his statement, figures.
For surreal fiction to work, the writer must have confidence. No matter how fantastic the images and situations, it always comes back to confidence. The reader should not sense the author’s doubt in either prose or content. The best works of magical realism flood forward on the page like an endless ribbon being pulled, and this is so apparent in Hong Kong writer Dorothy Tse’s newest short story collection, Snow and Shadow.
Alan Michael Parker’s The Committee on Town Happiness is made of ninety-nine stories written from the perspective of the titular Committee, an official body charged, apparently, with promoting the happiness of an unnamed town.