Thursday, June 18, 2009

Books I've read this week- Difficult People: Flash Fictions

Hmmmm..... I received a copy of Difficult People: Flash Fictions by Jim Stallings ©2009 to review and I don't exactly know what to say about it. It certainly wasn't what I expected.

From the book cover: 'In writing these flash fictions over the years I've found they are somewhat whimsical, somewhat blue, somewhat comical, and in some cases, the tales take a truly edgy, dark, tragic turn. With the inherent need for immediate conflict in a short narrative, many of the stories scope out the war between the sexes, an endless battlefield of erotica and cleverness. (Be forwarned, many of these erotic tales require a tolerant, mature reader; they are not for the squeamish or juvenile readers.) Because of their brevity, the success of the stories depends in part on seeing the characters in depth; that's why I sometimes refer to them as Karmic tales or biographies or sometimes as Karmic portraits, whether slice-of-life moments or whole life summaries.' He also calls this a 'bold adult storybook of short-short spontaneously composed tales.'

This book is full of mostly one-page tales. The author admits that most were written in less than an hour then rewritten and read aloud "until the language, the vision and voice come together." I think he should have spent more time on them. There are a few that make a point like 'Pimp Daddy of Monticello' which refers to Thomas Jefferson and his hypocrital, "all men are equal" as he beds the slave women. I get the sexual inuendoes and references but there are a several stories that don't make any sense to me. But you know what? I kept reading them and I don't know why. Finally, about page 80 I said enough; I have more interesting books to read.

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