by Sara Crowley
first sentence of the opening story is “I shaved my balls a day after
Claire left.” The narrator of Bare becomes
obsessed with his pubic hair when his girlfriend leaves. It sets an
immediate blokey tone that continues throughout. Housley’s protagonists
are usually male, heading into their forties I assume, feeling the
first niggles and aches of age, and trying to comprehend the world
around. Whilst these guys may drink beers and flounder in crummy
apartments, beneath the surface they are struggling, they are
sensitive. And beneath the surface of these stories, which at first
glance feel slight, there is more too.
comment on our celebrity-obsessed culture. They are about clowns,
wrestling, Fight Club, Jimi Hendrix, Jack Kerouac, reality television
contestants and presenters, DJ’s, and movie soundtracks.
What would Jimi
Hendrix be doing if he were alive today, contending with the business
minds that run the music world?
What if Jack
Kerouac was another person trading off fame in order to sell some
shopping channel tat?
Burns, the main
character in the title story Ryan
Seacrest is Famous, is consumed with envy for the life he
imagines Seacrest to live. They were at college together, and he was
the cool one. Now he ignores his own wife and her “I’m ovulating” call,
favouring his fantasy vision of Seacrest’s sex life.
But there are
other themes too, amongst them a sideways look at 9-11.
surprisingly neither of the two strongest tales concerns
you street or popcorn? has a wonderfully intriguing title,
and sweetly tells one of those high school outsider stories, but in a
fresh and engaging way. Notes
for the guy who stole my identity does what it says on the
tin. What a cool idea though, told in bite-size pieces and revealing a
You do not know how to ride a horse. So
has asked, but if for some reason somebody does don’t just hop on up
there and expect to be the Lone Ranger.
It’s a fun collection, easy to read, easy to enjoy, and thoughtful too.
Crowley has had
fiction published by Pulp.Net, elimae, flashquake and other lovely
places. Her novel in progress was shortlisted for the 2007 Faber/Book
Tokens Not Yet Published Award.
Publisher: Impetus Press
a writer and web geek in Washington, D.C. His work has appeared in or
is forthcoming in Gargoyle, Dicey Brown, and Hobart. He is a fiction
editor and co-founder of Barrelhouse Magazine.
with Dave Housley
Buy this book (used or
Publisher's Website: Impetus
recommended bookseller: Barnes and Noble
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you in the US
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