night I recall beautiful Nepal, just before the life I am living
today. It is so close to my current life that it sometimes overlaps
with recent memories. Nepal was similar to Tennessee with rolling
hills and green as far as the birds flew, but the Nepalese seemed
happier with their hills..."
Reviewed by Daniela Norris
collection of ten short stories weaves together a world made of
endless fragments of the characters' lives, memories and
imagination. The backdrops and premises differ, but the characters
reigning the tales are all engaging and intriguing. From a father and
husband who lost his job, through a girl recalling many of her
previous lives, and all the way to the last story in this
entertaining and thought-provoking collection, of a wife and mother
who decides one day to "go natural", it is difficult not to fall
in love with Klim's protagonists.
chef who is called to cook the last meal of one of her previous
customers before he is executed is as original a character as the
mind could invent:
the call came from prison, I was lecturing Faith MacPherson again.
Waiters lingered by the salad prep, nibbling on the leftover juicy
greens, and the dishwashers paused over sudsy piles of bone china,
the steam moistening their hair. The staff believed I enjoyed
criticizing Faith. I saw that look in their eyes, as if the show was
on again. They thought I was insensitive and demanding, a real terror
of a boss, but I loathed having to spell things out for her. I hoped
that my example as a professional woman in the kitchen would be
enough and that Faith might aspire to greatness on her own.”
The Final Ingredient)
cursed affair that ends with a surprising twist provides much insight
into the randomness of relationships and into their pitfalls:
you in love with her, this…?"
has deep insight into the minds of men and women alike. His
experiences are varied and widespread and he doesn't hesitate to
use them in his tales. A humorous and lighthearted take on things
makes these experiences easy to relate to.
Hank saw Darcy pause in the doorway. She had stopped crying. A lit
cigarette poked from her fist. With her eyes occasionally darting
across the hallway, she put the cigarette to her lips.
"Do you love her?" she asked.
"So what's the attraction?"
"I don't know."
He watched her rotate towards him. Smoke curled about their faces,
connecting them by the thinnest of threads. He could yank her back
with a single lie, but he refused to play any more games. "She's good for me."
"That's your excuse?"
"It's not an excuse."
"It's the worst I've ever heard. When you'll fall in love, I
guess you'll know what to say."
year later, Hank wondered if she'd jinxed him. He was in love with
Jasmine, and he lied all of the time.
a cold winter night after the decade of war and sex and the following
decade of booze and drugs and the next decade of money and power, I
came into my own as a writer. I'd grown up on authors like
Hemingway and Dickens – travelers, adventurers, first class showmen
who knew the value of their deeds, if not the weight of their words.
was almost thirty years old, too young for the 60s summer of love,
too poor for the 70s summer of drugs, and too unconnected for the 80s
summer of greed. It was the 90s, a throwaway decade in American
history, years filled with angst, confusion and irrational pursuits
of wealth and fame. Just as deluded as the next person, I believed I
could make it as a novelist, but I still felt removed from the crowd,
as if no one else harbored unfulfilled dreams.
Satellites, Cigarettes and Whiskey)
Surrealism fulfills the publisher's promise of "intelligent books
for this millennium" and the understated sophistication and
worldliness of this collection has turned me into a fan of
Christopher Klim's writing.
a former diplomat, turned writer. She is the author of numerous
award-winning short stories, articles and essays, and co-author of
Qalandiya: Exchanges Across the Israeli/Palestinian Divide
(Reportage Press, UK, 2010).