by Kristin Thiel
couple of Green’s stories satisfy from beginning through end—Johnson, the Driver; Macho—and
one, Almost Home,
falls quite flat for offering little more than a cliché. That leaves
most of this collection’s stories somewhere in between. Fortunately
they’re closer to done than not.
idea of the new world order, Americans stumbling about as tourists or
crashing about as expats or corporate money grabbers, is unfortunately
not so new. But it is happening on more complex and pervasive levels
than ever before, and from that crisscrossing of personal relationships
and business deals Green weaves spot-on dialogue and characterization
of people and places.
difficult to find an unbelievable conversation in Green’s stories. In Samba, the reader
completely understands why Heeber’s eyes pool with tears when his boss
and coworker arrive more than half an hour late to dinner and then
walked a pace ahead of Luciano, palms upturned. His smile was draining
Christ, Heeber. Look how you’re dressed!"
looked. He was wearing shorts, a T-shirt, sandals. It was hot.
He looked back up.
wearing a damn Tigger T-shirt, Heeber!"
you said casual, Mr. Ellis. I—"
Heeber, not kindergarten. God damn."
had cruel blue
eyes—pale, animal-like. Heeber often found it hard to look at the
Dangerous Season, the four main characters are nothing
short of the
young, speed-loving, drink-loving race car drivers they are supposed to
be. This is their story, one they attack voraciously. And still Green
pauses to give the reader a glimpse into other people, into different
layers of reality. A woman approaches one of the men while they loung
at a bar, and they flirt in Spanish and Portuguese, neither of which
the narrator understands. Later in the evening, she exclaims in
English: “‘You speak English’ I said. She gave me a bored look.
‘Obviously.’” She sucked on a cigarette and regarded DiCaprio, who was
more interested in the sketch than in her."
of the stories keep a reader interested—both in the writer’s
language and in the wonder of the characters’ voyages—until the final
page, when everything fizzles to a halt. The stories that work best
still end of course, but they twist just a little there, casting the
story that was in a slightly different light and planting a seed in the
reader’s imagination for the story that could be.
writes short fiction and book reviews and tries to keep news about
these current on her website. She is associate editor at Indigo
Editing, and is fiction editor for the Writers’ Dojo’s forthcoming
online journal and resource center.
Publisher: Autumn House Press
bio: Derek Green is looking beyond his first collection of short stories—he’s at work on
his first novel. Though he won the University of Michigan’s Jule and
Avery Hopwood Award in Creative Writing three times while studying
there, his first major published works were in nonfiction, as a a
freelance journalist for national and regional periodicals.
with Derek Green
Buy this book (used or
forget your local booksellers and independent book shops! Visit IndieBound.org to find an independent bookstore near
you in the US
you liked this book you might also like....
Rana Dasgupta "Tokyo Cancelled"
Rebecca Meacham "Let’s Do"
"Best of Tin House Stories"
other reviewers thought:
Emerging Writers Network